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FutureStarr#Katie #Ledecky Sees Nine-Year Winning Streak in US Freestyle Races Snapped
Swimmer Katie Ledecky has an illustrious record, having won 10 Olympic medals and 19 world championship golds. Although she will be the top swimmer at next year's Paris Olympics, 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh has recently overtaken Ledecky in some short course races.
She will remain a medal contender in some distance events. Both Ledecky and McIntosh have displayed signs of fatigue recently, yet they remain near the top of their game.
Ledecky's defeat in the 200 meter freestyle at Friday's world championships marked her first loss in a long course race of 200 meters or longer since 2014, when Allison Schmitt edged her out. Additionally, this marked Ledecky's first time not winning gold at an individual event at an Olympics since 2014.
Ledecky's defeat was humbling; she has become one of the sport's most dominant swimmers, boasting seven Olympic gold medals, 19 world championship medals and numerous world records.
Ledecky has never lost a long course race of 200 meters or longer in her home country, which is an unusual occurrence. But it won't come as a major blow since this event is not her strongest event and her loss won't cause too much concern as she prepares for next year's 2024 Paris Olympics.
On Friday, Summer McIntosh, 16, of Canada ended Ledecky's nine-year winning streak in the United States when she touched first in the 200 meter freestyle at a meet in Florida. In doing so, she set an all-time world junior record for this race - bettering it by one second from last year's World Championships record.
McIntosh has a longstanding rivalry with Ledecky, who boasts seven Olympic gold medals and 19 world championship golds to her credit. Both will be in contention at the Paris Olympics, with McIntosh potentially medaling in several events.
Ledecky is the most decorated swimmer in history, yet she does not consider herself a sprinter. Her best races are 200-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle, 800-meter freestyle and 1500 meter freestyle events. Although Ledecky has yet to announce her schedule for the 2024 Paris Olympics, she has stated that she plans on competing across all long distance freestyle events.
Stolz, who won three World Cup races and swept the 500m, 1000m and 1500m at last month's world junior championships, is an aspiring young star. This season he set several world and American records including one for fastest times at or around sea level (set on Tuesday) as well as at altitude (which he broke earlier this month in Calgary). His impressive list of accomplishments continues to grow by the day!
Hanna Faulhaber is an American freestyle skier who competes internationally. She's on the rise in the sport, earning multiple podium finishes this winter season. Later this year, Hanna will make her Olympic debut in the halfpipe event.
She began skiing when she was three, and has been a member of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club ever since. From there, she quickly progressed into skiing the halfpipe, where she quickly progressed throughout her career in this sport.
Faulhaber, a Basalt High School senior, has quickly established herself as one of the sport's premier athletes in recent years. This season she won several international races and is now considered an Olympic medal contender.
Ledecky has earned eight Olympic golds and 19 world championship medals, but her streak of dominance in U.S. pools beyond 200 meters continues to wane.
This has led to some close calls, particularly in non-Olympic pools. She lost a freestyle race at Toronto last October to Canadian swimmer Emily McIntosh, and finished ninth in a 200m freestyle at the U.S. Open last December.
Despite her losses, Ledecky still has a long way to go before she can match Ledecky's accomplishments. Although she only holds one Olympic gold in the 200 meter freestyle and no world championship golds in this event, she remains among the best swimmers worldwide in this race.
Her main rival in this summer's event is 18-year-old Gu, who made a splash at X Games Aspen last year with some impressive results. Her victory at Olympic big air last week has put her among the leading contenders for Olympic halfpipe gold alongside Sildaru.
She is the daughter of a former professional football player and an athlete herself; she began skiing at age 2 and quickly developed an enthusiasm for it. With experience in skiing and snowboarding as well as freestyle skiing, she is an expert freestyle skier. When her family moved to Vail, Colorado when she was young, her childhood in the mountains fostered an appreciation of community.
In a stunning defeat, American swimmer Katie Ledecky saw her nine-year winning streak in U.S. freestyle races of 400 meters or longer come to an end in Greensboro when she was defeated by Mackenzie McIntosh, the country's top freestyler.
McIntosh has earned two gold and one silver medals at the Olympics, as well as several world championships. She specializes in long distance freestyle but also excels at short course freestyle, where she holds five world records.
At Greensboro, she's a threat in all sprint freestyle events but especially the 200 and 400. If she performs well enough, she could even qualify for the four-woman freestyle relay.
Podmilsak is an accomplished short-course swimmer. At the NCAAs last month, she set American records in both 50 free and 100 breaststroke events. Furthermore, she was part of a medley relay team that won bronze in Tokyo.
Regan Smith, a freshman at Stanford, has quickly made her mark as one of the top backstrokers in America. She's earned two individual Olympic medals (bronze in 100 backstroke and silver in 200 butterfly) and recently won a national title in 50 free.
She's the fastest backstroker in the world, boasting times for short course yards this season that are significantly quicker than her winning marks in both 100 and 200 meters at the NCAAs. We can't ignore her long-distance abilities either, so we've included her on this list as a slight favorite for both events.
Torri Huske is another promising young backstroker on this list, who made headlines at the 2021 Trials in Tokyo with her stunning 100 fly swim. As a result, she earned herself a place on the U.S. women's Olympic team for 2022.
At the ISL and Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi, she earned six medals including bronze in the 100 free. Additionally, her anchor leg on the women's 400 free relay team that finished second earned her a place as an Olympic contender at Paris 2018.
For the first time in nine years, swimming phenom Katie Ledecky suffered a loss in her home country of Australia.
Her swimming and skiing careers have been hindered by injuries, yet she still holds 10 Olympic gold medals, 19 world championship golds, and is one of swimming's all-time greats. A perennial contender for Olympic gold in distance events at 2024 Paris Games, she stands a good chance of taking home gold there as well.
Ledecky may feel discouraged at having missed her 200m free plan, but she will likely bounce back in her next competition. Trials for July's worlds take place the last week of June, giving her plenty of time to decide on long-term objectives.
Shiffrin has become a force on the FIS Alpine World Cup circuit in recent years, breaking Lindsey Vonn's record of 82 slalom wins and closing in on Ingemar Stenmark's overall win record of 90.
She has won 17 races in the FIS Alpine World Cup this season, breaking the record for most slalom victories by a female alpine skier in one season. Additionally, she has excelled in giant slalom and super-G, winning one race each discipline at the beginning of the season and placing second in two others.
Shiffrin has cemented herself as the undisputed queen of slalom and super-G on the FIS Alpine World Cup circuit with 17 victories and 17 global medals. At Semmering World Cup 2018, she came within one ski jump of tying Ingemar Stenmark's overall ski world cup wins record.
Her success in both slalom and super-G races has given her a commanding lead in the overall World Cup standings, where she currently ranks number one. In 2023, she will have an even greater opportunity to extend her winning streak when competing in the final slalom at Bansko World Cup.