Katie Ledecky entered these Olympic Games with an opportunity to become the most decorated female athlete in history. The swimmer accomplished that feat with her third straight gold in the 800-meter freestlye. Her six career inidividual gold medals are three shy of tying Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina’s such record of nine.
The 24-year-old Ledecky made her Olympic debut in 2012 at the age of just 15 and is competing in her third career Olympic Games. As Ledecky continues swimming towards history, let’s examine the dominance of her career and what’s to come.
6: That is the age Ledecky first discovered her passion for swimming. In fact, her mother swam at the University of New Mexico.
4: Ledecky has four distinct hobbies when she isn’t swimming. Outside the pool, she enjoys playing piano, chess and Scrabble. She also volunteers in her spare time. Notable charities she contributes to include Catholic Charities, Shepard’s Table, Bikes for the World and Wounded Warriors.
By the time Ledecky earned her driver’s license, she already sported two world records, four world championships and a gold medal won in 2012. In fact, Ledecky was Team USA’s youngest swimmer in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
15:07.57: In 2018, during her final career appearance in the NCAA championships for Stanford, Ledecky swam the 1650-yard freestyle in the dominant fashion she knows best. She managed to lap her respective opponents in the aforementioned time, nearly 30 seconds ahead of the 2nd place finisher.
15: Ledecky finished her NCAA career with 15 swimming records and eight national titles despite leaving two years of eligibility on the table. Those records include marks in the 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free, 400 free relay and 800 free relay.
3: Ledecky currently holds world records in the 400m/800m/1500m freestyle. The last event made its Olympic debut this year. Ledecky has set the world record in the 1500m on six different occasions. In fact, each of the eight best times in the women’s 1500m free belong to Ledecky, who set the world record of 15:20.48 back in 2018.
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7: The dominant swimmer became the first woman to win the 200- and 1,500-meter freestyle on the same day in July. In fact, both her races took place 75 minutes apart. With her victories in Tokyo, Ledecky joined the women’s top-five for most all-time Olympic gold medals. Larisa Latynina (9) currently ranks first.
36: That is Ledecky’s total medal count in international competition between the Olympics, World Championships and Pan Pacfici Championships. The first of those came in the women’s 800m freestyle in the 2012 London Games. That was 3,280 days ago entering today.
ESPN Stats and Information contributed to this story.