SPORTS

Katie Ledecky Nabs Her Second Olympic Gold Medal In Rio

And brought the Ledecky 2016 medal count to three.
Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the Women's 200m Freestyle final on Tuesday night.
Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the Women's 200m Freestyle final on Tuesday night.

Self-described fast swimmer Katie Ledecky finished first place in the women’s 200-meter freestyle finals on Tuesday, winning her second gold medal of the Rio Olympics. The decidedly speedy American athlete finished with a time of 1:53.73.

The 19-year-old went up against world-record holder Federica Pellegrini, the Italian whose 2009 world record still stands at 1 minute, 52.9 seconds. But Swede Sarah Sjostrum finished second for the silver and Aussie Emma McKeon nabbed the bronze.

Ledecky, considered by many to be peerless, won another individual gold medal for the women’s 400-meter freestyle on Sunday. She also helped the U.S. women’s swim team score a silver medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay over the weekend after the Australian team won by less than 2 seconds. 

Katie Ledecky finished ahead of Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom with a time of 1:53.73.
Katie Ledecky finished ahead of Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom with a time of 1:53.73.

In 2012, Ledecky competed in the London Olympics, where she won gold in the 800-meter freestyle ― as the youngest American Olympian that year. While she’s better known for her exceptional ability in the sport’s longer races ― she holds world records in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle events, having broken her own marks several times over ― Ledecky has shown off her speed in the shorter races in Rio. 

As the subject of a lengthy New York Times profile, the swim champ reveals an innocent appreciation for the sport ― and her many, many wins. She, along with her parents and coach, have resisted cashing in on her obvious skill with brand endorsement deals. In the fall, she’ll begin college at Stanford, moving away from her family in Maryland, and participate on the school’s swim team.

Ledecky speaks modestly to press, saying she “just let it all out” or that her efforts “just really paid off,” with a casual shrug, after scoring her Olympic accolades. She has been swimming for the majority of her life ― since age 6 ― and doesn’t show signs of stopping soon.

This win brings the total number of gold medals earned by Team USA to 7 and the team’s total medals to 23 in the 2016 Rio Olympics. But there are still two weeks left, so you and Olympics commenter extraordinaire Leslie Jones can keep those “USA!” chants going strong. 

 

 

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