- South Africans hold day of prayer for Nelson Mandela
- Mandela not on life support in final hours, friend says
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle removed from North Korean state documentary
- Thailand crisis deepens as opposition quits Parliament
- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
- Former Reagan aide James Baker: President regretted apartheid veto
- Some donations to gay waitress who allegedly forged hate note refunded
- German President Joachim Gauck boycotting Sochi Olympics
- Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: If you want to pay more for your doctor, you can under Obamacare
Katie Ledecky named U.S. Olympic SportsWoman of Year
Katie Ledecky arrived on the world stage in 2012, winning gold in the 800-meter freestyle at the London Olympics as a 15-year-old, but the swimmer from Bethesda, Md., really came into her own this year.
Ledecky’s remarkable performance at the world championships in Barcelona, which saw her win gold in all four events she swam — setting new world records in two of them — led to her being named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s SportsWoman of the Year for 2012-13.
Unlike Olympic SportsMan of the Year Ted Ligety, the top U.S. skier, and Olympic Team of the Year Bob and Mike Bryan of tennis fame, Ledecky will have to get out of school to make the ceremony. But the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart likely won’t mind excusing its most high-profile pupil.
Ledecky is used to juggling acts, anyway. Earlier this year, at the U.S. championships, she became the first American woman ever to qualify for worlds in all four freestyle events — 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 meters. She ended up dropping the 200 from her program in Barcelona to ease the scheduling burden but did swim a leg on the U.S. 800 freestyle relay team.
Her meet started with a win in the 400, but her signature performance came two days later. Ledecky beat out defending world champion Lotte Friis in the 1,500 in a stunning 15 minutes, 36.53 seconds — a whopping six seconds faster than Kate Ziegler’s world record that had stood since 2007.
After helping the U.S. team to gold in the 4x200 relay, Ledecky topped Friis again in the 800, breaking a 5-year-old world record with a time of 8:13.86 that prompted Friis to giver her rival a round of applause on the pool deck.
“I exceeded all the expectations I had going into this meet,” Ledecky told reporters after that race, which made her the highest scoring female swimmer of the world championships.
Ledecky was previously named the 2013 USA Swimming Athlete of the Year, and in earning SportsWoman honors from the USOC, she joins a remarkable list of U.S. athletes. Sprinter Allyson Felix won it last year and skier Lindsey Vonn the previous two years, and previous honorees include Michelle Kwan, Picabo Street, Bonnie Blair, Gail Devers and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Oh, and Janet Evans, who won it in 1989. That August, Evans set a world record in the 800 free with a time of 8:16.22, a mark that stood until Great Britain’s Rebecca Adlington broke it with 8:14.10 at the 2008 Olympics.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Marc Lancaster has covered Major League Baseball for the Tampa Tribune and the Cincinnati Post and served as an editor at FanHouse.com and SportsIllustrated.com. A University of Georgia graduate, he began his career as a sportswriter at the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot led by newcomers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine
- Katie Ledecky named U.S. Olympic SportsWoman of Year
- Navy-Air Force game Saturday a 'go' despite shutdown
- Despite tweets, still no update on Navy-Air Force football game
- Shutdown might ground Navy, Air Force, Army football games
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Sen. Rand Paul: Supreme Court needs to re-examine Fourth Amendment
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- Sen. Richard Durbin: No line in the sand on unemployment benefits
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!