Katie Ledecky facts for kids
Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky (born March 17, 1997) is an American competitive swimmer. She has won five Olympic gold medals and 14 world championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer. She is the current world record holder in the women's 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle (long course). She also holds the fastest-ever times in the women's 500-, 1000-, and 1650-yard freestyle events.
In her international debut at the 2012 London Olympic Games as a 15-year-old, Ledecky unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women's 800-metre freestyle. Four years later, she left Rio de Janeiro as the most decorated female athlete of the 2016 Olympic Games with four gold medals, one silver medal, and two world records. In total, she has won 31 medals (27 golds, three silvers, and one bronze) in major international competitions, spanning the Summer Olympics, World Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships. During her career, she has broken fourteen world records.
Ledecky's success has earned her Swimming World Female World Swimmer of the Year a record-breaking five times. Ledecky was also named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year in 2017, international female Champion of Champions by L'Équipe in 2014 and 2017, United States Olympic Committee Female Athlete of the Year in 2013, 2016 and 2017, and Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation in 2017. Ledecky's 10 individual gold medals at the World Aquatics Championships and 14 combined individual titles at the Olympics and World Aquatics Championships are records in women's swimming.
Ledecky was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Mary Gen (Hagan) and David Ledecky. Her paternal grandfather, Jaromír Ledecký, was Czech, and came to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1947. Her uncle is businessman and New York Islanders owner Jon Ledecky. Ledecky is a Catholic and often prays the Hail Mary before a race.
Ledecky began swimming at the age of six, due to the influence of her older brother, Michael, and her mother, who swam for the University of New Mexico. Ledecky resides in Bethesda, Maryland, where she attended Little Flower School and then graduated from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in 2015. During her high school swimming career, Ledecky twice set the American and US Open record in the 500-yard freestyle and twice set the national, high-school record in the 200-yard freestyle. Ledecky finished her high-school career as the holder of the Stone Ridge school record in every swimming event except the 100-meter breaststroke.
During the summer of 2012, she trained with the Nation's Capital Swim Club under coach Yuri Suguiyama. Following Suguiyama's departure to coach for the University of California, Berkeley, she continued to train with the Nation's Capital Swim Club under coach Bruce Gemmell through the 2016 Olympics. During the summers prior to 2012, she swam for Palisades Swim Team in Cabin John, Maryland. Ledecky accepted an athletic scholarship to Stanford University, where she swims for coach Greg Meehan's Stanford Cardinal women's swimming team.
In December 2016, Ledecky was chosen as one of the sponsors of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise alongside gymnast Simone Biles. They are the first Olympians to be given this honor.
Images for kids
Ledecky speaks to students at Rickard Elementary School in Williston, North Dakota
Katie Ledecky Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.