Every Olympics has its stars, and one of this year’s is Katie Ledecky, the 19-year-old swimmer who limits her interviews, has decided not to go pro, and is considered an heir to Michael Phelps, with the potential to go down as one of the best Olympians of all time. Her stats are well-known now (along with Simone Biles, for those watching NBC’s breathless coverage, she is regularly promoed and featured prominently) following her surprise win in the 800 meter freestyle at the London Games at the age of 15, but that doesn’t make watching her dominate any less fun.
Ledecky set the Olympic Record in the semis for the 400 meter, but during Sunday night’s finals, she was multiple bodies ahead of her challengers, and a body ahead of the World Record at many points, grabbing both that and the Gold in the finals (her teammate Leah Smith, who won Bronze, mouthed to her incredulously, “3:56?!” at the race’s completion). With that final time of 3:56:46, she was five seconds ahead of the silver medalist and beat the World Record time by two seconds.
“I was really confident,” she said after she swam, after being asked how sure she was that she could break the World Record (a great answer, particularly because NBC’s commenters love to talk about how likably humble she is). It was almost as good as her response to Matt Lauer in one of the rare sit-down interviews she’s given; when he asked her if she had a secret to her success, the first word out of her mouth was “No.”
This has been Ledecky Watch, regular updates on the 2016 Olympics success of phenomenal swimmer Katie Ledecky.