Katie Ledecky Named L’Equipe Female Athlete of the Year


PARIS – It’s another first for the amazing Katie Ledecky.  Swimming World’s World Swimmer of the Year was named L’Equipe‘s Female Athlete of the Year.  She also became the first swimmer to win the respected French newspaper’s top athletic honor.

Although she received the award during a taped ceremony last month at the Golden Goggles, the newspaper just announced the honor with Ledecky being named the “Champion of Champions” trophy winner.


Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming

“I am very honored to receive this award and international recognition from L’Equipe, and I’d like to thank its journalists for this prestigious accolade. I also would like to thank my family; my coach, Bruce Gemmell; my teammates on the Nation’s Capital Swim Club and the USA National Team; and everyone at my high school, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, for all of their support in making this a wonderful year,” Ledecky said. “I would also like to thank USA Swimming for all it does to make America’s swim team the best swim team in the world.”

Ledecky had an outstanding year this year, posting five world-record setting performances within two months, culminating with her incredible 1500 free time at the Pan Pacific Championships.

L’Equipe started awarding the honor in 1980 as a single athlete award.  Just two years ago, L’Equipe began honoring both a male and female athlete of the year with Serena Williams of tennis fame winning the first two women’s trophies.

It’s been an amazing year for Ledecky.  Not only did she become the first woman since Janet Evans to hold the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle world records at the same time.  She also took down a pair of short course American records.

In February, she set the 500-yard free mark in 4:28.71, while just recently downing the 1650 free mark with a 15:13.30.

About the only things Ledecky didn’t accomplish this year were to win FINA’s Female Swimmer of the Year award (Katinka Hosszu), or take down Katie Hoff’s 1000-yard free American record.

French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie was honored as the men’s international “Champion of Champions.”