It can not be easy to be billed as a future female Michael Phelps. But after pulling off a surprise gold medal at London 2012 at the age of 15, and a subsequent five golds at the 2015 Worlds, it was perhaps no surprise that the Washington swimmer ended up being the second most-decorated Olympian in Rio 2016 after the pool legend and USA flag bearer she’s oft-compared to.
Ledecky’s London performance remains astonishing. Having qualified for the 800m freestyle final third overall, she surprised the field by taking gold in the final by more than four seconds – and breaking an American record that had stood since 1989.
Going into the Rio Games, then, a lot was expected – and Ledecky didn’t disappoint. She bagged the 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x200m freestyle (two of them in World Record times), fending off incredibly tough competition from the likes of Sarah Sjostrom.
“She’s always pursuing her personal best with fury,” says Dave Marsh, coach of the U.S. Olympic women’s team. “Where’s the fury coming from? We don’t know, but the stove is running hot.”
“I try to make the good days great and take something positive from the days I'm not feeling good.”
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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