Katie Ledecky’s Long-Time European Rival Takes Fans on a Trip Down Memory Lane With an Iconic Picture

Published 07/31/2023, 7:45 AM EDT

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Katie Ledecky has been unstoppable since she began her swimming career. She has always been an ambitious and determined athlete, constantly pushing herself to be better than her rivals. Recently she looked back on one such rivalry that has shaped her career.

America’s Katie Ledecky and Denmark’s Lotte Friis have had a fierce rivalry in the women’s freestyle events. The two swimmers have consistently pushed each other to new heights in the sport. Despite their intense competition, Ledecky and Friis have mutual respect and admiration for each other’s talents. Recently, the Danish legend uploaded a picture from one of their iconic races, and Ledecky reacted to the post with a sweet message.

Ledecky reminisces about the past


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Lotte Friis, now retired, shared a picture to mark the tenth anniversary of some of their most memorable races. On 30 July 2013, both legendary swimmers entered the 1500m freestyle event at the FINA World Championships. It was the final race in the event, and crowds gathered at the venue in Barcelona were divided in their support between the two powerhouses.

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Ledecky had a better start than Friis, forcing the latter to increase her pace. The Dane achieved a lead at the 300m mark and maintained it until the 1300m mark. Ledecky was on her tail the whole time, never allowing the distance between them to become too great. As they approached the final 200m lap, Ledecky unleashed her incredible speed and overtook Friis.


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A post shared by Lotte Friis (@lotfriis)

Lotte Friis’ Instagram upload showed her sharing the podium with the winner. Both swimmers were smiling in the picture and were glad to have earned their respective medals. Katie Ledecky reposted the photo on her Instagram story with the caption, “Miss you @lotfriis, those were some incredible races 10 years ago”. The picture captured a moment of camaraderie and mutual respect between the two swimmers, highlighting the lasting impact of their intense competition. Besides, they had every reason to be happy on that day after creating new records.


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World record showdown in iconic race

Katie Ledecky was proud of her performance in the FINA World Championships. Not only had she managed to beat Danish swimmer Lotte Friis, but she had also broken the world record in the process. Ledecky, then just sixteen years of age, had finished the race at 15:36.53. She was six seconds faster than the previous record holder Kate Ziegler. Lotte Friis won the silver in the event, but her performance was nothing to frown at.

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Friis created the European Record in the 1500m freestyle event finishing just behind Ledecky with a time of 15:38.88. This marked a significant achievement for Friis, showcasing her strength and skill in the pool. Friis and Ledecky have shown the world what sportsmanship looks like from their recent interaction. The world will not easily forget their contribution to the sport.


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Written by:

Anchal Ahuja


One take at a time

Anchal Ahuja is a sports author for Essentially Sports. She is a skilled writer who has a vast knowledge of different sports and is now delved into the US Sports Arena. Anchal has chased her dream and followed her passion to become a pro writer.
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Edited by:

Brandon Gabriel