American swimming followers have been spoiled lately to have the 2 best swimmers of all time competing in pink, white and blue swim caps.
From his breakout 2004 Athens Olympics efficiency by means of his last video games within the 2016 Rio Summer time Video games, Michael Phelps was the premier expertise within the sport, with nobody displaying the type of success he had within the historical past of swimming. For the reason that 2012 London Olympics, Katie Ledecky has grow to be the world’s finest distance swimmer and holds extra worldwide gold medals than any feminine swimmer in historical past.
The comparisons between the American swimmers who every started their careers early and who’ve risen to the highest of the game have inevitably come up between the 2 all-time nice abilities. Sporting Information is having a look on the resumes examine.
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Katie Ledecky vs. Michael Phelps
No swimmer has gained extra gold medals than Phelps. No Olympian has gained extra gold than Phelps. And within the latter, it is not notably shut. Phelps gained 23 Olympic gold medals to associate with 26 FINA World Championship golds — and one other FINA World Championship Brief Course gold — in addition to 16 Pan Pacific golds. In whole, he has 66 gold medals, 14 silver and three bronze medals.
Phelps has a number of years on Ledecky, so clearly the totals proper now aren’t going to be even, however Ledecky additionally began choosing up wins earlier in her profession. She claimed her first Olympic gold at 15 years outdated, whereas Phelps did not decide one up till age 19. Thus far in her profession, Ledecky has 5 Olympic gold medals, 15 long-course FINA World Championship golds and eight Pan Pacific golds for a complete of 28 golds, 5 silvers and a bronze.
As well as, Phelps’ versatility has helped him decide up so many medals in his profession. He has gained worldwide gold medals in three of the 5 particular person types, the butterfly, particular person medley and freestyle. Ledecky has been the world’s finest distance swimmer since age 15, however she has solely earned medals within the freestyle occasions internationally. Phelps has additionally competed in all three relays: 4×100-meter freestyle, 4×200 freestyle and 4×100 medley relay.
Nonetheless, that provides her 4 completely different particular person lengths of which to swim. She additionally will now be given yet one more within the Olympics transferring ahead because the 1500 freestyle was added to the ladies’s facet for the primary time this 12 months, including maybe considered one of her most dominant races to the potential checklist of medals she will be able to seize.
These two athletes have not simply gained medals: they make historical past in doing so seemingly every time.
Throughout Phelps’ profession, he set 29 particular person world data and 10 relay data. It appeared that yearly he stepped into the pool, he was going to shatter both a world file he had beforehand left untouched or reset considered one of his personal data. To this point, his 400 particular person medley stays his lone particular person world file untouched, whereas the relay models he was part of that set data within the 4×100 freestyle relay, 4×200 freestyle relay and 4×100 medley relay are nonetheless intact.
Since there hasn’t been an Olympic Video games since his retirement following the 2016 Rio Video games, there are extra of his Olympic data left standing. His 200 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 200 particular person medley and 400 particular person medley all stay the numbers to beat, as do all his three relay occasions. Phelps additionally nonetheless holds the American data within the 200 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 400 particular person medley and within the three relays.
Ledecky remains to be getting into the prime of her swimming profession and is on the level the place it’s an annual routine for her to set and reset data. She holds the world data within the 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle and 1500 freestyle. She additionally holds the Olympic data within the 400 freestyle and 800 freestyle from her journey to Brazil in 2016. Ledecky additionally has the American data within the three distance freestyle occasions and was a member of the 4×200 freestyle relay as nicely.
It’s nonetheless early on Ledecky, as she is just 24 years outdated and sure has many extra years left of competing left.
However each acquired off to swimming internationally at an early age. Phelps debuted within the 2000 Sydney Olympics at 15, whereas Ledecky made her first Olympic look within the 2012 London Video games, additionally coming on the age of 15.
In 2016, when Phelps gained the 200 butterfly, he grew to become the oldest swimmer to win a person Olympic gold medal on the age of 31, although he later misplaced that file to Anthony Ervin on the ultimate day of the Olympics when the 35-year-old gained the 50 freestyle. Phelps added yet one more particular person gold and a silver on the 2016 Rio Video games, together with three gold medals on relays.
The oldest swimmer to ever earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic group was Dara Torres, who, at 41, certified for a spot on the 2008 U.S. Workforce. There, she earned silver medals within the 50 free, 4×100 medley relay and 4×100 freestyle relay. She was additionally, on the time, the oldest swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal eight years earlier when, swimming on the 4×100 freestyle and 4×100 medley relays, she claimed the 2 high medals at 33 years outdated.
Can Ledecky proceed to win gold medals into her 30s? If she competes within the 2024 and 2028 Summer time Video games, she can be 28 and 32. There is a lengthy approach to go till we are able to speculate on whether or not Ledecky will nonetheless be swimming as late in her profession as Phelps, Ervin or Torres, however with the best way she’s owned the gap free occasions thus far in her profession, it might appear to be a nasty thought to guess towards her skill to proceed to win gold for the foreseeable future.