Katie Ledecky First Female Olympian Ever Featured on the Cover of National Geographic

It’s been a big month for Katie Ledecky. Just days after announcing a partnership with major swimwear brand TYR at the Pro Swim in Santa Clara, Ledecky announced via social media that she would be gracing the cover of the July issue of National Geographic, which hits newsstands June 26th.

Ledecky is the featured athlete in an article titled “Building a better athlete“, which features numerous athletes who have been deemed incredible including Ledecky, track star Usain Bolt, Paralympian Jarryd Wallace, and swimmings own Michael Andrew. This is the first time that an Olympic swimmer has ever been on the cover of National Geographic. This also marks the first time a female Olympian has graced the cover. Ledecky also shared this photo to her instagram account today, which was used in the feature.

Game face 😎 📸: @johnhuet, @natgeo. #swim #TeamTYR

A post shared by Katie Ledecky (@kledecky) on

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Lol does Michael Andrew really belong with Ledecky and Bolt


Nah but Dean Ferris does


Arguably yes. Not because he has accomplished (nearly) as much as they have, but because (a) he’s still an elite athlete and world champion, and (b) the story is about new training methods and Andrew takes advantage of unique and controversial training techniques.


They’ve certainly done a good job of marketing his training as new or even revolutionary, I’ll give you that. And the controversy surrounding him is a testament to how well they have been marketing this “new” idea. But the idea of training at race pace is much older than Michael Andrew (see bob bowman’s talks about Phelps’ training and the recent videos on this site of ledecky in the practice pool), and I think it’s kind of silly to be highlighting someone with so little success compared to the others in the piece.

That being said, I’m glad to have more swimmers in the limelight, and I’m glad for the exposure, no matter the ambassador.


When you break things down like research and experiments, according published literature, his specific type of approach has not been done. So yes, this is different. It is not like anyone else at the elite level has done and if they have, from age group through elite level swimming, has not shared with the masses. If it has been done, please provide the link and share it.

Why is it silly if he is highlighted for his training style and swimming at an elite level? If no one else has done this quite like him, isn’t it worth mentioning given the premise of the article?


Swim fans: We want more exposure!
Michael Andrew in NatGeo: Boo he’s not worthy!

Coach John

no kidding… bunch of armchair quarterbacks here.


Michael Andrew is fine as long as they limit it to 50 words


He must have a great agent.

Meme Gonzalez

SwimSwam be like “where caeleb dressel at tho”


FYI: Schooling made the cover of Nat Geo while swimming in practice.

bear drinks beer

To be fair, he has made the cover of many good magazines including Harper’s Bazaar.


Maybe you would not mind his exposure if he bleached his hair in blond? Just wondering…


The joke is b/c of Schooling’s comments about his practice times, a well established Schooling joke on SwimSwam. Inferring a hair color change would change the situation completely misses the intent, the joke, and comes off as smarmy. Not cool.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo


About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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