Team USA’s youngest member, 15-year-old swimmer Katie Ledecky, was overshadowed in London by high profile teammates like Missy Franklin, Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Nathan Adrian.
But Katie finally got her moment to shine Friday night when her gold medal performance in the women’s 800m was honored as the Phillips 66 Performance of the Year award at USA Swimming’s annual awards banquet.
Katie, who received a standing ovation from Friday night’s crowd, surprised everyone when she knocked off reigning Olympic and world champion, Rebecca Adlington, and nearly broke the British swimmer’s world record in the process, swimming an American record of 8:14.63. Her shocked face and screams of “Oh my God” when she realized what her accomplishment said it all.
Now Katie can go back to her much tougher life as a high school sophomore. Don’t worry, though, she completed her summer reading list that included ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ while abroad.
Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.
Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.
Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.
WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET
On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.
Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice
In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.
The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.
The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.
Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.
NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.
MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi