Keynote Speaker Katie Ledecky

Katie Ledecky

Olympic Gold Medalist

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    Maryland, USA

About Katie Ledecky…

Kathleen Ledecky is an American competitive swimmer. She is a five-time Olympic gold medalist, and nine-time world champion. She is the current world-record holder in the women’s 400-, 800-, and 1,500-meter freestyle (long course). She also holds the fastest times in the 500-, 800-, 1000-, and 1,650-yard freestyle events.

In her international debut at the 2012 London Olympic Games as a 15-year-old upstart, Ledecky unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women’s 800-meter freestyle in the second fastest performance ever. In total, she has won 20 medals, 19 golds and one silver, in major international competitions, spanning the Summer Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships. During her career, she has broken thirteen world records.

Ledecky’s success has earned her Swimming World’s World Swimmer of the Year and the American Swimmer of the Year awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015, as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2013. Ledecky was also named the international female Champion of Champions by L’Équipe in 2014. Ledecky’s seven individual gold medals at the World Aquatics Championships is a record in women’s swimming. In 2016, Ledecky was the youngest person on Time magazine’s Time 100 list.

More about Katie…

Ledecky’s first event in the 2016 Summer Olympics was the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, swimming the anchor leg, together with Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil, and Dana Vollmer. Ledecky recorded a split of 52.64 in the heats. In the final, she recorded a split of 52.79, helping the team earn a silver medal (behind Australia) with a time of 3:31.89, a new national record for the United States.

Her first individual event was the 400-meter freestyle. Ledecky qualified in the heats with a time of 3:58.71, an Olympic record. In the final, she won the gold medal with a world record time of 3:56:46. This was 2 seconds faster than her previous record from 2014, and almost 5 seconds ahead of the silver medalist, Jazmin Carlin.

Ledecky won a second gold in the 200-meter freestyle with a personal best of 1:53.73, beating Sarah Sjöström by 0.35 seconds.

She claimed her third gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, with Allison Schmitt, Leah Smith, and Maya DiRado. Swimming the anchor leg again, Ledecky recorded a 1:53:74 split and the team claimed victory with a time of 7:43:03.

She won a fourth gold in her final individual event, the 800-meter freestyle. She again qualified in the heats with an Olympic record, 8:12:86, and set a world record in the finals of 8:04:79. That was again 2 seconds faster than her previous record, and over 11 seconds faster than silver medalist Carlin.

Ledecky is the first swimmer to win the 200, 400 and 800 m freestyle at the same Olympics since Debbie Meyer did so in 1968 in Mexico City.

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