Is Katie Ledecky the Greatest Freestyler of All-Time – Gold Medal Minute Video

  51 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | August 22nd, 2014 | Gold Medal Minute, News, Video | Sponsored by:


Katie Ledecky now has the 400, 800 and 1500 meter freestyle world records, and she appears to be ontrack to threaten the 200 freestyle world record by the 2016 Olympic Games.

Is Ledecky the greatest freestyler of all-time?

Greatness, in swimming, is typically measured by Olympic gold medals, but for us — hardcore swim fans — I feel world record swims matter more. It’s pure, simple, fast swimming at any time. HOWEVER, I do believe Ledecky could win the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle at the 2016 Olympic Games. (And  I think we, swimfans, should start a campaign to allow Ledecky to race the men’s 1500 freestyle if the International Olympic Committee doesn’t include the 1500m for women in Rio. I love my Olympic family, but I’m embarrassed by how backward they are by excluding this event for women. It’s an issue, like fast food restaurants being sponsors of the Olympic movement. Our priorities need some realignment.)

Ledecky? Being the greatest freestyler?  I’ve looked through the swimming history books. I can’t find her match. Debbie Meyer won the 200, 400 and 800m free at 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, but I think Ledecky could top that performance in either direction. Ledecky could crush the 1500m (if it were an official women’s event), and I believe Ledecky can make Team USA’s 4×100 freestyle relay. Think about it. If Ledecky can final in the 100m free in Omaha at US Olympic Trials, all she has to do is beat two people to get a spot on the sprint relay.

QUESTION: Is Ledecky potentially the greatest freestyler of all-time for men or women? Please share your knowledge of the sport in the comments. 

Follow Katie Ledecky on Twitter here.

This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of

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51 Comments on "Is Katie Ledecky the Greatest Freestyler of All-Time – Gold Medal Minute Video"

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if she wins 100 free style, that’s all it would take for me to say she is the best freestyler ever. she most certainly is the most efficient freestyler ever. lol but either way I still think she is a stud.

I think Ledecky really feels most confident swimming the 800 free and might opt for that if she had to choose between it and the 1500. Her post-race interview after day 1 at Pan Pacs (quick turnaround time between the 200 and 800 and nearly setting new WR to boot) indicates her ever-rising confidence level. She is still learning a lot and seems totally fearless. This is maybe her third or fourth big international meet, right? She blatantly stated she is taking aim at that 800 WR and wants to obliterate it. I wonder what technical things she and Gemmell are taking a look at improving? BTW, compared to some top world females swimming now, she would have a hard… Read more »

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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