Katie Ledecky makes records with sixth character gold, cements Olympic icon popularity, and she’ll be lower back in 2024
How’s this for an organization: Ledecky has greater personal gold medals than any swimmer in history
besides Michael Phelps One of the most preposterous streaks in sports remained energetic Saturday
morning in Tokyo: Katie Ledecky is undefeated in every 800-meter freestyle race she’s competed in for 11 years.
The most dominant girl swimmer in records cemented her reputation and immortalized her legend in her
very last race of 2021 together with her signature discipline. Ledecky touched the wall at eight:12.57,
giving her the 6th person gold and 10th Olympic medal of her profession.
Katie Ledecky six individual gold medals are now the maximum by using any woman U.S. Olympian ever and 2d-
most in swimming to at least one individual: Michael Phelps might also for all time hold an untouchable
quantity with thirteen.
But for as exceptional as Phelps’ five-Olympiad profession changed into, it is Ledecky who instructions a
dominance in positive components of swimming we’ve clearly by no means visible earlier than.
Katie Ledecky supremacy specifically inside the 800-meter freestyle may constitute the maximum
inevitable any athlete
has been at something… Ever? Seems like hyperbole? It is now not. It is not that she constantly wins, it is
that she has described the parameters of what fulfillment is within the women’s 800-meter freestyle.
Ledecky owns the 22 fine instances within the records of the event.
This is obscene authority. Katie Ledecky modern gold additionally intended attaining a 3-peat in the 800
unfastened. It marks simply the fourth time in history a swimmer has received gold in a character field in
three consecutive Olympics. (Phelps’ four straight in the two hundred-meter individual medleys has in no
way been matched.)
And now these will almost certainly get to meet again in three years when the video games will head to
Paris. With that, there’ll in all likelihood be no larger storyline for the 2024 summer Olympics than
Katie Ledecky vs. Titmus. This is proper: Katie Ledecky Olympic career isn’t over. While there wasn’t too
much hypothesis over this, it is nevertheless information that Ledecky went on a document for the
primary time at those video games to the nation she is not retiring.
“That became now not my final swim — I am as a minimum going to ’24,” Ledecky stated on NBC.
“perhaps ’28, we will see. However, I knew [the 800] changed into going to be my final swim right here.
You never take anything without any consideration, you do not know in case you’re going to be back at
the following Olympics, so just try and soak all of it in.” Katie Ledecky and Titmus wound up splitting
their four head-to-head meets in Tokyo, with Titmus taking gold inside the 200 and four hundred
unfastened, at the same time as Ledecky won inside the 800 free and without difficulty cruised within the
first-ever Olympic 1,500-meter freestyle for women. (Titmus did now not swim on that occasion.) inside
the 4×200 unfastened relay, Ledecky swam the fastest leg (1:53.76) of any swimmer to boost the U.S. To a
silver — and area Titmus and the Australians (bronze) in the process.
“It is outstanding,” Ledecky said on NBC. “I just wanted to finish on a truly accurate notice, and I am just so glad.” She’s distinctive from an Olympian we’ve ever watched.
It’s been Katie Ledecky’s success, in addition to her not taking gold in two of the five activities she
competed in, it’s helped remind us that Olympic greatness can be about transcendent dominance — but
also shortcomings that humanize these athletes. An important site of the Olympics is that they permit
non- binary consequences (not just one winner and all losers, but 3 medals to hand out) and make sports
activities fanatics — American sports enthusiasts especially — reconsider what elite achievement is.
Katie Ledecky isn’t undefeated within the pool; nobody ever is. However, she’s unique and in contrast to
all and sundry, we’ve got seen earlier than. She’s beatable, however, she’s specific. And with this displaying
Tokyo — extra golds, two greater silvers — Ledecky has unequivocally extended herself to her own tier
of Olympic greatness.
She didn’t want to comb and take five golds to get there. A lesson to be applied.
The satisfactory part is it’s now not over. Katie Ledecky wasn’t the force of nature in Tokyo that she
became in Rio in 2016, which turned into simply her peak. However within the presence of a real foil in
Titmus, and with a viciously grueling race routine, Ledecky proved she has no analog.