U.S. swimming champion Katie Ledecky is a St. Patrick’s Day baby.
Born on March 17, 1997, Ledecky turns 26 years old in 2023.
From victory here on her Olympic debut at age 15, to becoming a SEVEN-time Olympic champion! 🥇
Happy birthday to an absolute icon of the Olympic pool, @KatieLedecky! 🎂 pic.twitter.com/1RLYp3G2cX
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) March 17, 2023
She has been on the national swimming scene for so long that it is surprising she is only 26.
Here are five facts about Katie Ledecky.
1. G.O.A.T. Of U.S. Women’s Swimming
Ledecky is the most decorated female U.S. swimmer of all time and is far from done.
She is a seven-time Olympic gold medalist and has also won 19 World Championship gold medals.
Ledecky plans to compete in the Paris Summer Olympics in 2024, and it would not be surprising for her to compete in the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in 2028.
2. She Is The Second Famous Swimming Champion Who Trained In Maryland
Ledecky was born in Washington, DC, and trained in Bethesda, Maryland.
Michael Phelps, the greatest of all time in men’s swimming, also trained in Maryland, in the Baltimore area.
3. Swimming Is A Family Affair
Ledecky started swimming when she was six years old.
Her mother Mary Gen Hagan was a champion swimmer at the University of New Mexico.
Katie’s older brother Michael, who is three years her elder, swam competitively in high school.
She credits Michael for giving her the love of the sport.
“I swam with my brother throughout that and always followed him to the pool and wanted to be in the same group as him in everything. I just always enjoyed swimming with him and I think that’s how I really found my love of the sport. I think if I didn’t have my brother swimming with me, I don’t know if I would have loved it as much as I did and still do.”
4. Ledecky Keeps Getting Better
She works hard at her sport, and Ledecky continues to achieve personal best times in events.
On March 12, 2023, she outperformed her own previous best in the 1650-yard freestyle when she finished with a 15:01.41 time.
.@katieledecky is on a ROLL 💪
She set a new American & U.S. Open record yesterday by going 15:01.41 in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the Florida Senior Champs! pic.twitter.com/xUSuLclzml
— USA Swimming (@USASwimming) March 13, 2023
5. She Was Named AP Female Athlete Of The Year Twice
Her consistency and longevity are amazing.
She has been named the AP Female Athlete of the Year two times, five years apart.
Katie Ledecky is incredible 👏
She also won in 2017. #ThatsaW pic.twitter.com/apAId5K7hp
— ESPN (@espn) December 28, 2022
The first time was in 2017; the second was in 2022.