Katie Ledecky is no normal 19-year-old. Before even obtaining her driver's license, Ledecky has taken the swimming world by storm and topped every podium she's set her sights on. To celebrate her 19th birthday on March 17, check out some of the accomplishments that make Ledecky so cool. She...
...made her first Olympic team at her first senior national meet.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials was Ledecky's first senior national competition. She finished first in the women's 800-meter freestyle to qualify for the Olympic team.
...won an Olympic gold medal at age 15.
...was the youngest U.S. athlete at the London 2012 Olympics.
...has won 15 gold medals in major international competitions.
Ledecky's haul includes medals from Olympic Games, world championships and Pan Pacific Championships.
...has broken 11 world records.
...won three Golden Goggle awards for Female Athlete of the Year.
Ledecky earned the top honor in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the same years she won Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year award.
...earned the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2013.
...was named the USOC’s 2013 Olympic SportsWoman of the Year.
...swims in every freestyle distance from 200 to 1,500 meters.
...is the first to win all of those races at a major meet.
Ledecky won the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyles at the 2015 FINA World Championships.
...won four Golden Goggle awards for Female Race of the Year.
...swims 8,000 meters a day in training.
...set a world record in the 1,500-meter freestyle in prelims.
At the 2015 FINA World Championships, Ledecky set a new world record in her 1,500-meter freestyle heat when she said she wasn't even trying to, finishing 29 seconds before the second-place swimmer. She went on to break her own world record in the final.
...has never won an international medal that isn’t gold.
...got Michael Phelps’ autograph when she was 9 years old.
Five years later, Ledecky and Phelps were on the same Olympic team.
...deferred enrollment at Stanford to train for the 2016 Olympics.
...swims faster than nine-time Olympic gold medalist Mark Spitz.
In distances over 400 meters, Ledecky's fastest times are faster than Spitz's fastest times. Spitz has 11 total Olympic medals from 1968 and 1972.
...was named to the Athletes’ Advisory Commission for LA 2024.
...has the top eight women’s 800-meter freestyle times in history.
Ledecky also owns nine out of the top 10 times.