Katie Ledecky Honored as USOC SportsWoman of the Year


The United States Olympic Committee announced Thursday that Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.) has been honored for her remarkable season with the 2012-13 USOC SportsWoman of the Year award. 

Katie Ledecky celebrates her world record in the 1500m free. (120)This summer, the 16-year-old Ledecky earned four gold medals and notched two world records at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. She broke world records in the 1500m and 800m freestyle events, and also captured gold in the 400m free and 800m free relay.

In the 1500m free final at the 2013 FINA World Championships on July 30, Ledecky eclipsed the previous world record by more than six seconds with a time of 15:36.53. In the 800m free final on Aug. 3, she was victorious in 8:13.86, shaving nearly a quarter of a second off the previous mark.

Additionally, Ledecky won World Championships gold with an American record in the 400m free in 3:59.82, becoming the first U.S. women to break the four-minute mark in the event. She became just the second woman and first American to sweep the three freestyle races at a single World Championships and earned the FINA Trophy as the highest scoring female swimmer of the meet.

In June, Ledecky garnered three national titles and became the first American woman to qualify for the world championships in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events at the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis.

For her efforts, Ledecky was honored in September as the 2013 USA Swimming Athlete of the Year. She also was recognized with USA Swimming’s Phillips 66 Performance of the Year award for her world-record performance in the 1500m free in Barcelona.

Ledecky’s USOC SportsWoman of the Year honor will be presented during an awards reception in conjunction with the 100 Days Out Celebration to commemorate the final countdown to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Tuesday, Oct. 29 in New York.

Ledecky is the first women’s swimmer to earn USOC SportsWoman of the Year honors since Natalie Coughlin did so in 2008. Swimmers, including the likes of Janet Evans and Tracy Caulkins, have now won the award on 12 occasions since its debut in 1974.

The USOC SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year awards have been presented annually to the top overall male and female athletes from USOC member organizations since 1974. In 1996, a team category was added to recognize the outstanding achievements of team members who might not otherwise have been eligible for individual awards. The Paralympian of the Year award was introduced in 2004, and the category was expanded to the Paralympic SportsWoman, SportsMan and Team of the Year awards in 2009.

Winners are selected from the female, male and team of the year nominations of the National Governing Bodies for the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games sports, as well as select, designated entities within the U.S. Paralympic Movement. 

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