Served as envoy
- 2018 – Japan
- 2019 – South Korea
Born in Washington, D.C. in 1997, Kathleen Ledecky (Katie, for short) did not waste much time before beginning her already-legendary swimming career. She started swimming at age 6, following in her older brother Michael’s footsteps. All before she passed her driver’s license test, she had two world records, four world championships, one Olympic gold.
Ledecky exploded onto the U.S. swimming scene in 2012 at the Olympic Trials, where she was the youngest swimmer at the meet. She quickly claimed her spot in the future of American swimming by winning the 800 freestyle and finishing third in the 400 and ninth in the 200. A few weeks later, she surprised her country and the world with a gold medal finish in the 800 freestyle at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Her time of 8:14.63 was incredibly close to the World Record and broke Janet Evans’ long-standing American Record of 8:16.22.
In the 1500, she shaved nearly six seconds off of Kate Ziegler’s previous world record in a hard-fought battle against Denmark’s Lotte Friis. Ledecky also made her international relay debut in Barcelona and won gold in the 4×200 freestyle relay with teammates Shannon Vreeland, Karlee Bispo and Missy Franklin. The 2013 FINA Female Swimmer of the Meet has certainly proven herself as a crucial part of the future of American swimming.