Katie Ledecky Is A Better Athlete Than Me

Courtesy: Charles Hartley

You all remember the stir I created eight years ago when I wrote a blog for SwimSwam claiming I was the best athlete ever to come out of Little Flower School in Bethesda, Maryland – not Katie Ledecky.

There was an uproar so intense in the comments section under that blog and I still haven’t regained my psychological footing. The whole experience jolted me like a human-ignited earthquake. All I was doing was making a simple point: when I was in grade school I was a better athlete than Katie Ledecky was in grade school.

Trophies matter. Not that I’m counting, but I won ~14 most valuable player (MVP) trophies during those years across a broad cross section of sports including basketball, baseball, and touch football. I would bet my Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog assets that Katie didn’t win that many MVPs while at Little Flower.

But last night as Katie lapped the field in the 400-meter freestyle to qualify for her fourth Olympics and will undoubtedly build on her already cemented reputation this summer at the Paris Olympics as the greatest female swimmer who has ever dove into a pool, I started to re-think my position.

With her achieving so much no one ever has, and with me not achieving anything she has, I felt a societal duty to confront a truth that so many others already knew that has taken me so long to accept and admit publicly.

Katie Ledecky is a better athlete than me. It’s not even a debate anymore. Sure I could quibble about my athletic versatility and being the MVP of the prestigious Georgetown Prep eighth grade hoops tournament scoring 31 points in the final game to throw back St. Mark’s and Mike Dunn, but that accomplishment doesn’t measure up on a world stage to all that Katie has done. It just doesn’t.

She’s not only a better athlete than me. She’s more balanced. She’s poised. She doesn’t seek the spotlight. She says the right things.

She’s everything a Little Flower School student is taught to be: classy, humble, hard-working, and polite, an uplifting influence on society wherever she goes. She is what all of us should aspire to be.

As for me, well, let’s just say those who taught me at Little Flower would be the first to say: “You’re not as good of an athlete as Katie Ledecky and stop writing blogs that you are.”

After far too many years being in denial, I would have to admit they were right about all of it.

About Charles Hartley

Charles Hartley is a freelance writer based in Davidson, NC. He has a masters degree in journalism and a masters degree in business administration.

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Revsticky
16 days ago

Finish this for me, grammarians: “Katie ledecky is a better athlete than …”

SwimFan2702
27 days ago

I don’t know you, but I suspect you are also not a better athlete than Phoebe Bacon.

Charles Hartley
Reply to  SwimFan2702
26 days ago

You’re right. Not close. Totally impressed with Katie and Phoebe.

marty
1 month ago

I or me easy test. Finish the sentence with the unspoken final verb “am”.

Charles ahartley
1 month ago

Hey you grammarians out there. Here’s my thinking. Katie Ledecky is a better athlete than me (which I still don’t really believe) sounds much more sensible than Katie Ledecky is a better athlete than I. Better athlete than me (which she is not) is the object of the sentence and objects of sentences call for me not I. It the headline was I am not as good an athlete as Katie (which isn’t true), I would be subject of sentence rather than saying Me is better athlete than Katie. Hope this clears this up.

fitzceros
Reply to  Charles ahartley
1 month ago

completely incorrect.

Charles ahartley
Reply to  fitzceros
1 month ago

You are correct.

Gahaw
1 month ago

A debate anymore? It never was a debate except in your addled brain.. You just sound like a loser that wishes he was somebody. Nope.

Shogun
1 month ago

Katie Ledecky is a better athlete than ‘I’ is the correct grammar.

College Sports Union Member
Reply to  Shogun
1 month ago

No it’s not… what??

Katie Ledecky is the subject of the sentence, the first person perspective is the object so “me” is the correct word to use.

Why did you comment that?

Shogun
Reply to  College Sports Union Member
1 month ago

Yes it is. Katie Ledecky is a better swimmer than I am. You are incorrect.

Cate
Reply to  Shogun
1 month ago

There was no “am” in the title. It was “Katie Ledecky is a better athlete than me” which is correct. You wouldn’t say “Katie Ledecky is a better athlete than I”.

Revsticky
Reply to  Cate
16 days ago

Actually you would. You might choose not to, but it’s the right way to say it.

Shogun
Reply to  College Sports Union Member
1 month ago

“Am”, the unspoken verb at the end governs the choice, which in this case is “I.” You are incorrect.

Cate
Reply to  Shogun
1 month ago

You really need to get yourself a grammar book.

Cate
Reply to  Shogun
1 month ago

No it isn’t actually.

Loz
1 month ago

Ehhhhh… even as satire this didn’t land for me I’m sorry. It’s giving ‘peaked 40-50 years ago and can’t move on’. All JMO. Looking forward to seeing some more great swims from Ledecky this week.

CasualSwimmer
1 month ago

Takes one to know one, you dropped this king 👑