Katie Ledecky Named Finalist for WSF’s Sportswoman of the Year

American swimmer Katie Ledecky has been  nominated for the 2016 Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year award.

Ledecky showed a historic range at the 2016 Rio Olympics winning 4 Olympic gold medals and 1 silver, including becoming only the second woman in history to win the 200, 400, and 800 freestyles individually at the Olympics. She also added a gold as part of the American 800 free relay and silver as part of the American 400 free relay.

Ledecky is one of 10 finalists for the individual sport award. The Olympic-centric list of nominees for the award includes one other swimmer – Gwen Jorgensen, who was a swimmer at the University of Wisconsin before shifting her focus to triathlon after college. Jorgensen, the sport’s dominant figure, became the first ever American to win the  Olympic triathlon in Rio.

Individual sport nominees:

  • Katie Ledecky, USA, Swimming
  • Gwen Jorgensen, USA, Triathlon
  • Simone Biles, USA, Gymnastics
  • Kayla Harrison, USA, Judo
  • Lydia Ko, New Zealand, Golf
  • Tatyana McFadden, USA, Paralympic Track & Field
  • Claressa Shields, USA, Boxing
  • Elaine Thompson, Jamaica, Track & Field
  • Serena Williams, USA, Tennis
  • Helen Maroulis, USA, Wrestling

Another aquatic athlete was nominated for the team award as well. Team USA water polo goalie Ashleigh Johnson, who minded net en route to the Americans’ second-straight gold medal.

Team USA gave up only 32 goals in 6 games in the tournament: fewer than any other country in the tournament.

Team sport finalists:

  • Ashleigh Johnson, USA, Water Polo
  • Valerie Arioto, USA, Softball
  • Heather Erickson, USA, Sitting Volleyball
  • Helen Glover & Heather Stanning, Great Britain, Rowing
  • Hilary Knight, USA, Hockey
  • Carli Lloyd, USA, Soccer
  • Alexandra Danson, Great Britain, Field Hockey
  • Maya Moore, USA, Basketball
  • Kira Walkenhorst & Laura Ludwig, Germany, Beach Volleyball
  • Zhu Ting, China, Volleyball

Finalists were selected based on athletic performances between August 1, 2015 and August 21st, 2016. The public vote gets 50% of the selection with the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Awards Committee getting the other 50% of the selection.

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Coach R

It’s a shame USA Swimming isn’t listed as a Team Finalist in this voting. Even if the selection to be a finalist was earlier in the summer.

bobo gigi

Gwen Jorgensen was a swimmer in college?
I’m surprised. Considering her running prowess I really thought she came from distance track.

Weird to see Maya Moore over Diana Taurasi who is the greatest women’s basketball player ever and who was great once again in Rio. By the way why select an individual player of a team in the category of team sports instead of the entire team?
There should be a category of individuals and a category of teams.

I think Simone will win the individual sport award.


Last year Ledecky won gold medals from 200 through 1500. Made a sensation by braking world record by more than 3 sec swimming 8:07. It was unbelievable feat. This year she has all Olympic (that is greater than WC) gold medals from 200 all the way higher. Being by general opinion long distance swimmer she anchored Olympic silver medal sprinting relay. She was faster than last year world record by almost same three seconds at 800 making it incomprehensible 8:04. That was many times more grandiose achievement than last year. And look at the reaction of general public: so what, that is what was anticipated, what else could you expect from her. It would be a great disappointment should’ve she… Read more »


I’d have to agree w/ Prickle. There seems to be developing a lack of appreciation for Ledecky’s accomplishments within the swimming community largely because of expectations. Of all people, swimmers should appreciate her swimming more than anyone. I mean, seriously! She went 8:04 this year. Though I’m not claiming she’d go quite the same pace in the 1500, it’s still remarkable that only 3 men at the U.S. Olympic Trials went a faster average pace in the 1500 than her 8:04. Think about that. Michael McBroom BARELY went a faster pace in his 1500 than Ledecky went while going 8:04 – and she had no one to push her. Only 3 males, in the deepest swimming nation on earth, could… Read more »


Jorgensen both swam and ran at the D1 level

Lane Four

Ok, already voted for Miss Ledecky. Good luck!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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