Friday, August 12, 2016


Allow me to play Inspector Clouseau for a moment or two to make the case for Katie Ledecky as the greatest female distance swimmer of her time.
Fact: Katie Ledecky just won the Olympic gold medal for the women's 800-meter freestyle race and set a new world record in the event.
Fact: The record she broke was her own, set in January 2016.
Fact: After she set the Olympic record for the "800 free" at the London Games in 2012, she set the world record in August 2013.  What just happened in Rio marks the fourth time she's broken her own world record.
Fact: She's only the third woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the 800-meter Olympic women's freestyle race.  The first two were Janet Evans (maybe you've heard of her!) in 1988 and 1992 and Brooke Bennett (who I used to dislike, but not anymore, and I explained all that here)  in 1996 and 2000.  
Fact: In the final fifty meters, Ledecky was so far ahead that, at one point, it looked like all of the other swimmers were still going in the other direction.      
Fact: Katie Ledecky just swam eight hectometers to glory. 
Fact: Eight hectometers are the equivalent of eight hundred meters. :-D

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