Why Katie Ledecky Turned Pro in 2018: GMM presented by SwimOutlet.com

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com

Olympic Champion, World Champion, and, in my opinion, the greatest female swimmer in history,  Katie Ledecky, broke her own 1500m world record at the TYR Pro Swim Indy.  In SwimSwam time, that’s old news, but her turning pro this early — two years out from the Olympic Games — is interesting.  After two years at Stanford, Ledecky explains why she made the move, and she comes across more confidently than I’ve ever seen her on-camera.

Katie wasn’t the icon she is now.  Each year she grows a little tougher, wowing swim fans even more.   I don’t want to make this about Caeleb Dressel, but the Ledecky-Dressel 2020 Olympic Games could be a two person world takeover in Tokyo.  If they’re both healthy, it’s going to be 100+ hours of prime time television coverage (between commercials, profiles, race footage and endless analysis).   This is potentially special, right, even after the Michael Phelps era…so soon after it?  What do you think? I thought swimming, as a sport, might wane in the aftermath of Phelps. It is not.

What can Ledecky do this summer?  I’d be happy to see one more world record, but I think she’s got a lot more in the tank.  Here are my predictions:

200m free – 1:53.0

400m free – 3:56.4

800m free –  8:03.9

1500m Free – 15.18.1

400m IM?  No clue. Help me here?

What are your predictions?

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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Here breaststroke looks like an age grouper, so unless she dramatically improves here, I cap her at 4:36. Eastin may be able to go under 4:30.


If you predict 1:53.00 then why to not go father just by 0.03 sec with the prediction of new world record in 200. To do so Ledecky should split 55 – 58. Her best race in 200 was 55.4 – 58.3. To swim 55 the first half of a distance she must have personal best in 100 around or under 53 sec. To swim the second half by 58 she has to have third fifty under 29 sec. She never did it. If to judge by the progress she made then 200 it is the most difficult her event. If Sjostrom has 4 best results within 0.3 sec interval then Ledecky isn’t that consistent with her best times to expect… Read more »


*1:54.8 area


If Ledecky 200 was 1:53.0, she will be able to swim 1:55.5 at the 400 mid way, which will be hilarious.

If her 200 was 1:53.0, her 100 should be pretty good too.

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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