Inspirational Women: Katie Ledecky

ByLil is a company for women, by women. So we relish the opportunity to celebrate some important, and inspirational women swimmers, surfers, and other water-sport athletes. The next woman we are honored to feature in our series is three-time Olympic swimmer, Katie Ledecky. At only 24 years old, Ledecky has earned 10 Olympic medals, 7 of which are gold, in freestyle events. 

She started making a splash in the swim world by setting an Olympic-trials record for the 800-meter freestyle as a freshman in high school- ultimately qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics and becoming the youngest member on the team at 15 years old. At her first games appearance, Ledecky not only went on to win gold in the 800-meter freestyle but also broke an American world record with her winning time.

Additionally, Ledecky earned 14 total gold medals from the 2013 World Championships, 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, and 2015 World Championships- all before qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics. At her second games appearance, she won four gold medals and one silver medal in the 200 m freestyle, 400 m freestyle, 800 m freestyle, 4x200 m freestyle relay, and 4x100 m freestyle relay respectively. Ledecky was crowned the 2nd most decorated Olympian at the games behind fellow swimmer Michael Phelps.

In her freshman year at Stanford University, Ledecky set 12 NCAA records and nine American records for the sport. After successfully completing her sophomore season, setting three NCAA records, and two American records, she chose to forgo her final two seasons of collegiate eligibility to pursue her professional swimming career.

Following her debut, Ledecky swimmingly (pun intended) continued to set records and win gold medals from 2018-2021. At the 2020 Olympics (set in June 2021 due to COVID-19), she earned two gold medals and two silver medals- making her the most decorated female athlete during the Summer Olympics.

Katie Ledecky has been breaking through glass ceilings from the moment she made her splash in the swimming world! We are grateful for women like Ledecky who have accomplished so much and serve as an inspiration for women everywhere.

ByLil is passionate about highlighting strong, inspiring, and accomplished women, just like Katie!