On Wednesday, Katie Ledecky was named the winner of two ESPYs (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards), the “Best Athlete—Women’s Sports” and the “Best Olympian—Women’s Sports” awards. She was presented with the Best Women’s Athlete award at the ESPY awards ceremony, which took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
The ESPYs are accolades that get presented to athletes every year to recognize individuals and teams for their achievements over the last year. The awards are presented by both the ABC and ESPN network. Winners of ESPYs are decided exclusively based on online fan voting.
You can watch Ledecky’s full acceptance speech here.
In the running for the Best Women’s athlete award, Ledecky was up against 2020 Olympic gymnastics all-around champion Suni Lee, WNBA all-star Candace Parker, and summer and winter Paralympic gold medalist Oksana Masters. For the Best Women’s Olympian award, other nominees included Lee, Masters, and 11-time Olympic medalist track star Allyson Felix.
At the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, Ledecky took gold in the 800 and 1500 free while winning silver in the 400 free at the 4×200 free relay. A year later at the 2022 World Championships, she won four golds in the 400, 800, and 1500 free plus the 4×200 free relay, and was the most decorated athlete, male or female, at the meet. Ledecky now has the most individual Olympic golds (6) and World Championship medals (22) out of any female swimmer.
Previously, Ledecky had been nominated for ESPY awards in the past, such as the 2016 and 2017 Best Women’s Athlete awards and the 2018 Best College Athlete award. However, this year marks her first time winning a ESPY.