Did you know that Michael Phelps has won as many individual gold medals as everyone from the entire state of Iowa combined? But enough about Phelps. Right now, we’ve got another speedy Marylander on our mind.
The Olympics has only been happening for a couple days, and already Bethesda resident Katie Ledecky, 19, has done several amazing things. She won a gold medal in the 400 meter freestyle, for one. Even better: She did so in under 4 minutes (3:56:46, to be precise) — making her only the second women ever to have swam that distance in under 4 minutes. (And the other woman who did so, Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini, was wearing a high-tech suit that has since been banned, the New York Times reminds us.) Ledecky’s time is not only a personal best, it’s a world record.
She’s now being called “the most dominant swimmer on Earth.” In any other circumstance, I’d consider that hyperbole. But Ledecky now owns the world’s 10 fastest times ever in the 800 meter and 400 meter freestyle, which is ridiculous. Must be something in the Maryland water, right?