The youngest competitor on the entire United States Olympic team has won a gold medal. At just 15 years of age, swimmer Katie Ledecky crushed the competition in the 800 meters, becoming the second youngest swimming medalist in Team USA history.
Ledecky led the entire way in the race and won by more than four seconds over the rest of the field, while upsetting Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington along the way. Adlington finished with the bronze.
Ledecky also broke the American record in the event (8:14.10), smashing Janet Evans' mark (8:16.22) that had stood since 1989.
The youngster from Bethesda, Maryland is the youngest of the 529 athletes from the United States competing in London, and is just 77 days older than Beth Botsford, who won gold in the 100-meter backstroke at the Atlanta Games in 1996. Botsford is the youngest swimming medalist in American history.
The fact that Ledecky broke an American record that has stood for 23 years is shocking. She also missed breaking Adlinton's world record by about a half second. Something tells me she'll break that one eventually.
Ledecky, 17-year-old Missy Franklin and 22-year-old Allison Schmitt are all having great showings in London. I think it's safe to say the American women are going to continue to be a force in the pool for years to come.
Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images