At the 2017 USOC Team USA Awards Wednesday evening, Katie Ledecky was named Female Olympic Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year and third year overall.
The other nominees included wrestler Helen Maroulis, speed skater Heather Bergsma, snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, and alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin.
Ledecky is the only woman to win the award three times, and joins Lindsay Vonn (2009 and 2010) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986 and 1987) as the only woman to win it in consecutive years
Ledecky wasn’t able to attend the event in Los Angeles due to school work and training, but in her video acceptance speech, she said: “I am very honored and grateful to receive this recognition from the U.S. Olympic Committee and also wish to thank USA Swimming and all of the fans who supported Team USA throughout the year. Thanks also to my coaches and teammates — all of whom make it such a privilege to compete for Team USA and Stanford.”
A the 2017 FINA World Championships, Ledecky became the most decorated woman in Worlds swimming history, winning six medals, five of them gold, and sealing the three-peat in world titles in the 400-, 800- and 1500-meter free. Her other golds came in the the 400m and 800m free relays, and her final medal was a silver in the 200m free. Of her 14 career Worlds golds, 10 of them came in individual races (also a women’s record).
Outside of her Worlds performance, at Stanford, Ledecky put up one of the best freshman campaigns in swimming history.
Award winners were determined 50% by online fan voting, and 50% by prominent athletes, coaches, and officials in the Olympic and Paralympic world, as well as a panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalists. Coaching awards were determined by National Governing Bodies, who selected their nominees as part of the USOC’s annual Coach of the Year Recognition Program. From there, the the winners were determined by a USOC selection panel of coaching and performance professionals.
Full winners list from the 2017 USOC Team USA Awards:
- Female Olympic Athlete of the Year – Katie Ledecky, swimming
- Male Olympic Athlete of the Year – Kyle Snyder, wrestling
- Olympic Team of the Year – U.S. Women’s National Team, ice hockey
- Olympic Coach of the Year – Bill Zadick, wrestling
- Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year – Tatyana McFadden, Para track and field
- Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year – Mikey Brannigan, Para track and field
- Paralympic Team of the Year – U.S. National Team, sled hockey
- Paralympic Coach of the Year – Eileen Carey, Para Nordic skiing