Subscribe
The Chatter

Katie Ledecky Named AP Female Athlete of the Year

The Bethesda native wins over tennis phenomenon Serena Williams.

By Michelle Harris | December 29, 2017, 10:35 am

The Chatter

Katie Ledecky Named AP Female Athlete of the Year

The Bethesda native wins over tennis phenomenon Serena Williams.

By Michelle Harris | December 29, 2017, 10:35 am

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

The five-time Olympic gold medalist and 14-time world champion Katie Ledecky can add one more accolade to her resume—2017 Female Athlete of the Year. The Associated Press chose Ledecky, with 351 votes, over world-class tennis player Serena Williams (343 votes) and track star Allyson Felix (248 votes).

Finishing second last year in voting to gymnast Simone Biles, her candidacy was strengthened this time around by her performance at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships is Budapest, where she won five gold medals and a silver.

According to the AP, Ledecky is the eighth female swimmer to win the award and the first since Amy Van Dyken in 1996. Among others is 1969 winner Debbie Meyer who Ledecky mirrored at last year’s Rio games by swimming the 200, 400, and 800 freestyles in a single Olympics. She is also the first active college athlete to win since UConn basketball player Rebecca Lobo in 1995.

"It's a really great history of women swimmers and freestylers,” she told AP. “I really look up to a lot of those women."

The 20-year-old Stanford sophomore got her start in swimming at age 6 because she wanted to make friends. Over the years, she has spent time training at Michael Phelps’ alma mater, the North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Mt. Washington. Now, she is one of the most decorated American female swimmers in history and is favored to win big at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Despite the pressure of living in a performance-driven and results-driven world, Ledecky enjoys her journey from start to finish and always puts in her best effort.

She is remaining levelheaded and trying to enjoy a normal college experience—living in dorms, swimming with friends, and trying to decide on a major.

"Just being in the college environment has kind of added another layer of fun," she said. "Being with teammates and working toward NCAA championships and having that team goal, that's another thing that is fun. I know the four years goes by very quickly and I want to do everything I can to prepare."




Meet The Author
Michelle Harris is the digital content coordinator for Baltimore, where she covers news, community, sports, and beauty.

You May Also Like

The Chatter

Ray Lewis Named Hall of Fame Semifinalist

Ex-Ravens great still generating controversy and expected to join Jonathan Ogden in Canton.

Ravens Watch

Justin Tucker Talks Ravens Touchdown Celebrations and Playoff Hopes

The kicker says the team is "really special" and peaking at the right time.

The Chatter

Aaron Maybin Helps Shine Spotlight on Cold Schools

Former NFL player turned Baltimore City teacher shines powerful spotlight on school infrastructure.


The Chatter

Juan Dixon and Coppin Get First Win in Double OT

Eagles end nation’s longest losing streak in dramatic fashion.

Sports

Ravens Players Share Thanksgiving Food Traditions

Willie Henry had a lot to say about cake while Jeremy Maclin praised his mom's sweet potato pie.

The Birds Nest

We Weigh the Decision of Trading Manny Machado

O's reportedly shopping superstar third baseman Manny Machado.

Connect With Us