katie ledecky
Getty Images

Katie Ledecky wins race by 1 minute, shatters NCAA, American records

Leave a comment

Katie Ledecky shattered the 1,650-yard freestyle NCAA record by 20 seconds and her own American record by 10 seconds on Sunday.

The Stanford freshman covered 66 lengths of the pool at an Ohio State meet in 15:03.92. The runner-up clocked 16:04.25 and still had four full lengths of the pool to go when Ledecky finished. Full results are here.

Ledecky’s time would have placed third in the men’s 1,650-yard freestyle that directly followed her event in Columbus. Her 1,000-yard split time also broke the NCAA record in that event, which she had set in her third college meet earlier this month.

Ledecky, after taking four gold medals in Rio, has now broken NCAA records in three events (500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard frees) in her first four meets as a Stanford Cardinal.

Ledecky and many international stars have less experience in NCAA-size pools of 25 yards, since Olympic pools are 50 meters. That makes NCAA records more breakable for somebody like Ledecky, whose main 25-yard-pool experience came in high-school meets.

Before Sunday, Ledecky last swam a 1,650-yard freestyle race on Dec. 6, 2014, a 15:13.30 that stood as the American record until now.

Olympic teammate Leah Smith held the NCAA 1,650-yard record of 15:23.30 that fell Sunday. In fact, Smith also held the NCAA records in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyles before this season.

On Saturday, what’s believed to be a 74-race win streak held by Ledecky was snapped by a fellow U.S. Olympic champion.

What’s the next record Ledecky could take? The NCAA and American 200-yard freestyle mark of 1:39.10 held by Missy Franklin. Ledecky swam 1:44.18 earlier this season.

MORE: What Bruce Springsteen told Katie Ledecky

[twitter-follow screen_name=’nzaccardi’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’]

Esther Kim, who gave her Olympic spot to best friend, dies at 40

Leave a comment

Esther Kim, a U.S. taekwondo athlete who gave up her Olympic spot to her injured best friend, died on Tuesday at age 40.

Kim had lost liver and kidney function and spent recent weeks hospitalized in an intensive-care unit, said Jake Stovall, a friend, former instructor and taekwondo athlete. Stovall set up a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses.

In May 2000, Kim forfeited the U.S. Olympic Trials flyweight final to Kay Poe, allowing her best friend to take the lone spot available on the Olympic team.

Poe, reportedly ranked No. 1 in the world at the time, dislocated her left kneecap in the previous round. The injury would have kept her from being competitive in the final.

“I was in a very unfair situation. How can you go out there and fight someone who can’t even stand up?” Kim said in 2000. “There was only one choice to be made, and that was just to forfeit and bow out.”

Poe and Kim were training partners, both coached by Kim’s dad, and friends for the previous decade growing up in Houston.

“I felt blessed, and at the same time, I almost felt, like, guilty,” Poe said in 2000. “I couldn’t express it any other way, but it just came out with my tears.”

The story spread among national media, from The New York Times to Sports Illustrated to Oprah Winfrey.

Then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch arranged for Kim to travel to Sydney, where taekwondo made its Olympic debut as a medal event. Kim watched from the stands as Poe competed and was upset in her opening match.

“She was really one of a kind larger than life kind of woman,” was posted on Poe’s public Facebook page on Tuesday, along with a photo of her with Kim.

This was one of the last times I got to see her.. She was really one of a kind larger than life kind of woman. Sending all my love to her mother and family…

Posted by Kay Poe Sheffield on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tahiti chosen for Olympic surfing competition at 2024 Paris Games

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Paris 2024 Olympic organizers want the surfing competition to be held in Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia that is about 9,800 miles from Paris.

It would break the record for the farthest Olympic medal competition to be held outside the host. In 1956, equestrian events were moved out of Melbourne due to quarantine laws and held five months earlier in Stockholm, some 9,700 miles away.

The Paris 2024 executive board approved the site Thursday — specifically, the village of Teahupo’o — and will propose it to the IOC.

“We look forward to hearing Paris’ presentation at the IOC Executive Board in March 2020,” an IOC spokesperson said in an email when asked for comment on Paris’ choice.

Tahiti beat out other applicants Biarritz, Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche, all part of mainland France.

“If, ever, we have two alternatives, and where one alternative gives the athletes of a particular sport more closeness to the heart of the Games and allows them to enjoy the magic and the spirit of the Games better, then in the interest of the athletes, we prefer this solution,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in June when asked about Tahiti’s interest in hosting surfing.

Surfing will debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games but is not on the permanent Olympic program. Surfing was among sports added to the Paris 2024 program in June and could be added for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!