By USA Swimming | Thursday, November 30, 2017
LOS ANGELES – Five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Stanford Swimming) was honored Wednesday by the United States Olympic Committee as the winner of the Female Olympic Athlete of the Year at the 2017 Team USA Awards, Best of the Year.
Ledecky’s honor was one of eight awards recognizing the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes, teams and coaches presented during a live recording of the Team USA Awards, Best of the Year, ceremony held at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles. The awards show – which featured singer, actor Mark McGrath as host – will be televised from 5-6 p.m. ET Dec. 23 on NBC.
“I am very honored and grateful to receive this recognition from the U.S. Olympic Committee and also wish to thank USA Swimming and all of the fans who supported Team USA throughout the year,” Ledecky said. “Thanks also to my coaches and teammates -- all of whom make it such a privilege to compete for Team USA and Stanford.”
At last summer’s FINA World Championships, Ledecky continued her unprecedented run of international success in Budapest by winning six medals – five gold – and claiming her third straight world titles in the 400-, 800- and 1500-meter freestyle. Her 3:58.34 effort in the 400m free was a meet record and ranks as the second-fastest time in history. Ledecky added gold in the 400m and 800m free relays, as well as a second straight FINA World Championships medal (silver) in the 200m free. She owns a women’s record 14 career gold medals in FINA World Championships action, including 10 individual world titles – more than any other woman.
Ledecky earns the USOC’s top annual female honor for the third time overall and second consecutive year. She also was recognized with the 2012-13 and 2016 award and becomes Team USA’s first three-time Female Olympic Athlete of the Year honoree. Ledecky joins Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Lindsey Vonn as the only women to earn the award in consecutive years.
The six athlete and team award winners were determined by online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards, where more than 260,800 fan votes determined 50 percent of the final tally. Members of the Olympic and Paralympic family – including an esteemed panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalists – accounted for the other 50 percent. For coaching awards, National Governing Bodies selected their nominees as part of the USOC’s annual Coach of the Year Recognition Program, and the winners were determined by a USOC selection panel of coaching and sport performance professionals.
Earlier this month, Ledecky earned her fifth consecutive Female Athlete of the Year honor at the USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards. Also in 2017, she was named the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year and claimed the Honda Cup as the nation’s top women’s college athlete.