top of page
  • Writer's pictureKurtis Tatkenhorst

August 12- Katie Ledecky breaks World Record in 800m Freestyle at 2016 Olympics

2016- On this day in Sports History, Katie Ledecky blew out the rest of the field as she broke the world record and won the gold medal in the Women’s 800m Freestyle Swim at the 2016 Olympic Games. The 19 year old finished the race in 8 minutes and 4.07 seconds to break her previous world record time and win the race by a huge margin. In just the qualifying race, Ledecky posted a time of 8:12.86 which set an Olympic record and was seven seconds faster than anyone else in the field. Ledecky would then dominate the final as she won the gold medal by finishing 11 seconds faster than Jazz Carlin of Great Britain who finished in second place.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

By winning the race, she successfully defended her gold medal in the same event from the 2012 Olympics, when at 15 years old, Ledecky was the youngest American participant at the Olympics. Her time of 8:14.63 set an American record and was less than a second shy of a world record. Ledecky went on to break the world record at the 2013 World Championships.

Ledecky had one of the best Olympic Games in history at the 2016 Olympics. In addition to winning the 800m freestyle in a World Record time, she also won three more gold medals and a silver medal. She won the gold medal in the 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay. She also won the gold medal in the 400m freestyle and set the world record with a time of 3:56.46. Her silver medal came in the 4x100m freestyle relay where they also set an American record.

Katie Ledecky’s four gold medals and one silver medal at the 2016 Olympics made her the most decorated female athlete at a single Olympic games. It topped swimmer Missy Franklin (2012) and gymnast Simone Biles (2016) who each earned four golds and one bronze in a single Olympics. Ledecky also became the first swimmer to win the 200m, 400m, and 800, freestyle in the Olympics since 1968.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos—Getty Images

After an historic Olympics performance, which included her gold medal and world record in the 800m freestyle on this day in 2016, Katie Ledecky was set to make a lot of money. She was set to make an estimated $5 million dollars a year from endorsements from her performance, but turned it down to enroll in Stanford University as a freshman. The 19 year old delayed going to college by a year to train for the Olympics, but didn’t want to pass up on the collegiate swimmer experience. After two years at Stanford, she decided to forego her final two seasons of eligibility and turn pro.

Be sure to subscribe to receive each story in your email.

Also be sure to follow us on social media.

Find more awesome previous posts at


Crouse, Karen. “Katie Ledecky Smashes World Record in the 800-Meter Freestyle.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2016

Gaines, Cork. “Katie Ledecky Explains Why She Is Passing up an Estimated $5 Million per Year in Endorsements.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 24 Aug. 2016

“Katie LEDECKY.” International Olympic Committee, 18 Dec. 2018

35 views0 comments
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
bottom of page