- Ledecky won his fourth event at the Olympic trials
- Grimes finished 6 seconds behind Ledecky but clinched his spot for Tokyo
- Nine years ago, Ledecky made his first Olympic team at age 15, in the 800
OMAHA, Neb. –It was the Katie and Katie show on Saturday night, the 24-year-old star of the US swim team and the 15-year-old leading a field in pursuit of the women’s 800 freestyle.
Katie Grimes, the 15-year-old who thought it was cool to have the same first name as Katie Ledecky, ended up hitting the wall almost six seconds after Ledecky, but the pool party ended. followed in the middle of the ropes of the way was all for the teenager. By finishing second, she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
Ledecky – who won her fourth event of those Olympic Trials to become the most successful woman in U.S. swim trials history with eight titles, behind only Michael Phelps with 16 – swam a few lanes to join Grimes and their other competitors, all together.
Ledecky was smiling. Grimes was in shock.
“I had no idea what was going on,” Grimes said later. “It was fun. It was like a pool party. I’m overwhelmed, overwhelmed with emotion and stuff. It’s just crazy.”
Still in the water, Ledecky hugged Grimes.
“The other day after the 1500, when she was third, I said to Katie, ‘You are the future,’” Ledecky said later. “I told him after that one, ‘You are it now.'”
Nine years ago at the 2012 Olympic Trials in the same event, the 800 freestyle, 15-year-old Ledecky defeated Kate Ziegler to form her first Olympic team, before winning a surprising gold in London. .
“The circle has really come full circle,” Ledecky said. “Nine years ago it was Katie and Kate, Kate Ziegler. I don’t know what it is about Katie and the freestyle.
As the two sat next to each other in a post-race press conference, Ledecky reveled in Grimes’ cheerful and disbelieving reaction as he came in second far more than his own victory.
“Fifteen years is crazy,” Grimes said. “Who knows, maybe I’ll be like her in nine years and there will be another 15 year old girl, you know?” “
Grimes looked at Ledecky.
“I know,” Ledecky nodded, suppressing a laugh, enjoying every minute.