OMAHA, NE - JULY 01: Kathaleen Ledecky celebrates after she competed in the championship final of the Women's 800 m Freestyle during Day Six of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on July 1, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The 2012 London Olympics are just over a week away, and one of the great Team USA stories heading into the games has its origins in Bethesda, Maryland. Katie Ledecky, a 15-year-old swimmer who just completed her freshman year of high school, shockingly qualified for London at the swimming trials in Omaha this month. She won the 800-meter freestyle event and will now head to the Olympics as the youngest member of the 530 athletes on Team USA.
While Ledecky is extremely talented, qualifying with a win in trials still came as a surprise. The rising Stone Ridge Sophomore is taking it in stride, however, letting it sink in while training with her team in Tennessee. Via the Montgomery County Gazette:
"I took the 800-meter free race out fast, perhaps faster than my coach would've liked initially. But once I was out fast, I just decided to go with it," Ledecky said. "Right after the race, it felt a little unbelievable. But it has begun to sink in now. I feel honored and proud to be able to represent our country as just one part of a great team."
Ledecky's story is certainly one DC-area residents will be hearing more about, as the amazing teenager's run to the Olympics has garnered national interest. While it's not expected that she'll medal this time around, her time in London should provide invaluable experience and set her up well for the future.