Making her Olympic debut in 2012 at 15 years old, Katie Ledecky won gold in the women’s 800m freestyle by more than four seconds -- but that was only the beginning of her success.
She went on to dominate the distance events over the next few years, becoming the first swimmer to win the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle titles at a single world championship in 2015. The feat became known as the “Ledecky Slam.”
The Bethesda, Maryland, native will compete in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle races in Rio, and will then take her talents to Stanford University where she will be a freshman this fall.
She’s a fan of the Washington Capitals, but she says her true athletic inspiration comes from the Wounded Warrior athletes at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
Outside the pool, Ledecky might be found playing the piano, competing in a game or chess, or volunteering with one of her favorite charities, such as Catholic Charities and Bikes for the World.