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Xavier Laine, Getty Images
The 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo have had a slew of new sports and events, including the women's 1500-meter freestyle swim. Team USA swimmer Katie Ledecky, who already had five career Olympic gold medals under her belt, took home the gold in this race as well, making her the first woman ever to do so.
Ledecky had already specialized in this particular race, despite the fact that it hadn't yet been included in the Olympic games. For her Tokyo race, she swam her 30 laps of the pool in 15:37.34, beating out fellow Team USA swimmer Erica Sullivan, who nabbed the silver. Germany's Sarah Kohler won the bronze medal.
In her Olympics debut in 2012, Ledecky won her very first gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle, which she still has yet to swim at the Tokyo Games. She defended her gold medal at the Rio Games in 2016, even setting a new world record with a time of 8:04.79. At that Olympics, she also won three other gold medals and a silver. So far in Tokyo, she's won a gold and silver. Add that to her massive collection of other championship titles and you have yourself the most decorated female swimmer in history, according to USA Today.
Prior to her 1500-meter freestyle win, Ledecky had a disappointing showing in the 200-meter swim, coming in fifth place. However, she not only wasn't super bothered by her finish but turned it around quickly for the 1500-meter race. After her gold medal performance, she told reporters, per Yahoo Sports, "I think people maybe feel bad for me, I'm not winning everything, and whatever. ... But I want people to be more concerned about other things going on in the world, people that are truly suffering. And I'm just proud to bring home a gold medal to Team USA."
Congrats to this incredibly talented swimmer on making history yet again!