Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky are the toast of the USA swimming and team and are a shining beacon of light in the world of aquatics after their combined medal tally of 9 golds and 2 silvers in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
But there is a interesting story of how these two Olympians met
One would expect that this fabled Uncle Sam dream team would have first bumped into each other at the last Olympic Games in London, where a young 15-year-old Katie Ledecky breezed past the darling of USA’s women’s swimming team of 2012, Rebecca Adlington.
Adlington, who earned the bronze medal in 8:20.32, spoke almost reverently about Ledecky’s effort, throwing out a host of superlatives: “Unbelievable,” she said. “Fantastic . . . absolutely amazing,” as told to the Washington Postin 2012.
Phelps at that time sought Ledecky out and wished her luck right after his 100m butterfly gold medal conquest.
“It looked like she went out, had some fun, won a gold medal and just missed a world record,” Phelps said. “That’s a pretty good performance for a 15-year-old.”
But it was actually 2006 when Phelps was (only!) 6-gold medals old, that a young 9-year old Katie Ledecky stood in a line at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Phelps’ hometown to get an autograph and a picture.
10 years ago: A 9-year-old named Katie Ledecky gets an autograph from Michael Phelps (Credit: Ledecky Family) pic.twitter.com/oOOPns5mor
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 10, 2016
Both would not know that they would band together and script Olympic history in one of the most dominant displays of supremacy shown by USA in an international meet... and the Olympics at that!
Therefore it was only fitting that in 2016, 10-years after an unsuspecting meet and greet, Katie Ledecky was sitting to sign autographs and taking pictures, while Phelps, in his swansong Olympic campaign, came to her and re-created their memory from 2006.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 15, 2016
For the casual sports fan, this was a great moment. But for a fan of Michael Phelps and his era of greatness showcased in the span of four Olympics, this felt like the passing of a torch.
Katie Ledecky will now go to Stanford University, where she will continue to push for her already phenomenal swim times to become a far lengthier affair than what Phelps’ enjoys with medals at the Olympics!
But what about Phelps, you say?
For that, let’s leave you with a picture of what Michael Phelps’ immediate future looks like!