Katie Ledecky was just 15 years old when she swam her way into the hearts of Americans with a surprise gold medal in the 800 meter freestyle race in London four years ago. Since then, Ledecky has trained hard to become a powerhouse in both long and shorter distance races, and at 19, she is THE swimmer to watch at the 2016 Rio Olympic games. Last night, she proved just how POWERFUL she is, winning a gold medal in the 400 meter freestyle race by over FIVE SECONDS over the silver medalist, and smashing her own world record by nearly two seconds, setting a new one of 3:56:46.
Ledecky’s transformation from a solely distance swimmer to a swimmer who can do it all—and the way she simply BLOWS AWAY the competition of elite swimmers, is the talk of the Rio games among swimming experts. Ledecky is simply a female swimmer like the world has never seen. And that has led some to say that she “swims like a man.”
Yeah, I am not a swimming expert, but let me tell you: that is misogyny I am just NOT down with.
Last night as Ledecky was smoking her competition, NBC Sports commentator Rowdy Gaines got it RIGHT. “Some people say she swims like a man,” he said, “She doesn’t swim like a man. She swims like KATIE LEDECKY.”
#BOOM. Thank you, Rowdy Gaines! Katie Ledecky is a woman, and she swims like a woman—FAST, smart, and efficiently. And I am THRILLED that my daughter has her to look up to as an innovator, and as the BEST swimmer on Team USA—and AT the Olympics games this year. Last night my 9-year-old daughter said “I want to be like Katie Ledecky” about 400 times—and it was awesome! She doesn’t want to be Michael Phelps, folks. She wants to be an amazing, strong, elite FEMALE athlete, as she should!
Congratulations, Katie! Keep swimming LIKE A WOMAN, and bring us home more golds, GIRL! Check out Katie’s amazing gold-medal-winning, world-record-smashing swim last night below!
Featured image: screen shot from NBC Sports on YouTube