“He Is The GOAT”: Katie Ledecky Opens Up About Michael Phelp’s Support and Legacy in Swimming

Published 08/08/2021, 11:33 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Swimming – Women’s 800m Freestyle – Medal Ceremony – Tokyo Aquatics Centre – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Kathleen Ledecky of the United States with her gold medal REUTERS/Marko Djurica


The Americans are usually excellent swimmers. The recent Tokyo Olympics 2020 showed their dominance yet again as Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel shone in Japan. Dressel wrapped up the games with five gold medals while setting two world records, and two Olympic records. Having won two gold and two silver medals during her time in Tokyo, the 24-year-old phenomenon cemented her legacy amongst the greats.

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In a recent interview with Access, Ledecky spoke about her relationship with Michael Phelps. By being a mentor for her, both these swimmers share a very special bond.

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Katie Ledecky gives tribute to Michael Phelps

The US swimmer won her third consecutive gold medal at the 800-meter freestyle event in Japan. Ever since she made her debut in the 2012 London Olympics at 15, the swimming sensation has become a generational talent inside the pool. With the aura of Phelps looming around probably every single American swimmer, fans must appreciate the greatness of Katie to date. She spoke highly of him in a recent interview, and the influence he had on her career to date.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Swimming – Women’s 800m Freestyle – Final- Tokyo Aquatics Centre – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Kathleen Ledecky of the United States reacts winning gold REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

“He was here in Tokyo and he texted me after my race today. He is such a great friend and supported and has been supporting our team here, and yeah, he is the GOAT,” said Ledecky.

The importance of Phelps’ guidance strengthened her to win more medals in Olympics. She ended the interview by naming him the GOAT of swimming; a fitting tribute from one legendary swimmer to another.

Despite retiring after winning a lot of medals in Rio, Phelps’ love for the sport just keeps growing. Phelps won five gold medals and one silver during his ultimate show in Brazil. The legendary swimmer commentated with the NBC team and provided in-depth analysis in some races.

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Phelps helps Ledecky to arrange her medals

Similarly, Katie ended her Rio Olympics campaign by winning four gold medals and one silver. After that, Sports Illustrated did a photoshoot with these two swimmers and the fearless Simone Biles. These three athletes represent America for their dominance in their respective sport. Significantly, Phelps helped her to arrange the medals she won and mentioned how she would win more in the future.

A beautiful candid moment from both these talented swimmers.

Until now, the 24-year-old swimmer won seven gold medals in the Olympics. But the question would be whether she can take it up a notch and compete in other swimming events.

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Ledecky is a swimmer who focuses on freestyle while not being up to the mark in other strokes, whereas Phelps is comfortable with other strokes. Notably, he carries the distinct record of winning four consecutive gold medals in the 200-meter individual medley.

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The comparisons between these two swimmers have already started. Phelps is the greatest swimmer of all time- there are no ifs, buts, or maybes to that. But if she adds more gold medals to her portfolio, the argument of the greatest will reach its anti-climax. Irrespective of their gender, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky are the two names on the Mount Rushmore of swimming greats.

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Jacob Gijy

398 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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