Is Katie Ledecky Actually a Faster Swimmer Than Michael Phelps?

Katie has passed Michael's record for individual world swimming titles with 16!

Alex West - Author

Jun. 29 2024, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps
Source: Getty Images

Competitive swimmer Katie Ledecky is favored to star at the Olympics and secure at least one gold medal. Of course, those who follow swimming closely know that this isn't that shocking since Katie has been inching closer to Michael Phelps' records for a while now

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Michael's status in the swimming world is indisputable, known as a record-setting champion. Now, it's time for the next generation to have their chance, specifically Katie.

michael phelps katie ledecky
Source: Getty Images
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Michael Phelps vs Katie Ledecky's times

Katie passed Michael’s record for individual world swimming titles when she won her 16th individual gold medal in the 800m freestyle at the 2023 World Championships. According to NBC, Katie had not lost the race since 2010, when she was 13 years old.

In the women's 800m freestyle, Katie holds the world record at 07:57.42 while Michael's, on the men's side of things, only hit 08:06.70.

"She's someone that's very goal-oriented," Michael told Business Insider of Katie in 2017. "When she writes a time down or she writes a major milestone down, she's gonna do whatever she can to make sure that happens. I've only seen that really a couple times in the sport. So it's a true treat for me to be able to see her kind of truly coming up in the sport like she is."

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katie ledecky vs michael phelps times

Is Katie Ledecky faster than Michael Phelps?

In some races, yes. Not everyone knows, but swimming is broken up into multiple competitions. Some of them are focused on speed while others are focused more on endurance. Different swimmers are known to excel in different types of strokes, lengths, and more.

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It's not necessarily possible to make a generalized answer, but she's definitely pushing the limits and overtaking Michael's speed in some challenges.

Who is in the Team USA swimming roster?

Team USA officially tapped their next roster for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Of course, Katie will be among them. According to USA Swimming, she said: “I’m happy to have gotten the job done here in Indy tonight and this week. It was a thrill to race in front of this crowd all week, and of course tonight to reminisce a bit on 12 years ago when my international career got kickstarted by that 800 in Omaha.”

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There are 44 members of the Team USA swimming crew, which is broken into Men's and Women's teams. Each member of the team is responsible for different events during the Olympics.

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Some of them are able to do multiple events where others will only be competing in one. Nonetheless, they're all key parts of giving America a chance at the gold medals.

  • Men's Team:
    • Jack Alexy: 100 freestyle; 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Hunter Armstrong; 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Shaine Casas: 200 individual medley
    • Brooks Curry: 4x200 freestyle relay
    • Caeleb Dressel: 50 freestyle; 100 butterfly; 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Matt Fallon: 200 breaststroke
    • Nic Fink: 100 breaststroke
    • Bobby Finke: 800 freestyle; 1,500 freestyle
    • Carson Foster: 200 individual medley; 400 individual medley
    • Chris Guiliano: 50 freestyle; 100 freestyle; 200 freestyle; 4x100 freestyle relay; 4x200 freestyle relay
    • Thomas Heilman: 100 butterfly; 200 butterfly
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    mens olympics team
    Source: Getty Images

    (L-R) Kieran Smith, Chris Guiliano, Drew Kibler, and Luke Hobson.

  • Ryan Held: 4x100 freestyle relay
  • Luke Hobson; 4x200 freestyle relay
  • David Johnston: 1,500 freestyle
  • Keaton Jones: 200 backstroke
  • Chase Kalisz: 400 individual medley
  • Drew Kibler: 4x200 freestyle relay
  • Matt King: 4x100 freestyle relay
  • Josh Matheny: 200 breaststroke
  • Ryan Murphy: 100 backstroke; 200 backstroke
  • Blake Pieroni: 4x200 freestyle relay
  • Ivan Puskovitch: 10-kilometer marathon
  • Aaron Shackell: 400 freestyle
  • Kieran Smith: 400 freestyle; 4x200 freestyle relay
  • Charlie Swanson: 100 breaststroke
  • Luca Urlando: 200 butterfly
  • Luke Whitlock: 800 freestyle
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    Women's Team:

    • Phoebe Bacon: 200 backstroke
    • Katharine Berkoff: 100 backstroke
    • Erika Connolly: 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Mariah Denigan: 10-kilometer marathon
    • Kate Douglass: 200 breaststroke; 100 freestyle; 200 individual medley; 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Erin Gemmell: 4x200 freestyle relay
    • Katie Grimes: 1,500 freestyle; 400 individual medley; 10-kilometer marathon
    • Torri Huske: 100 butterfly; 100 freestyle; 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Lilly King: 100 breaststroke; 200 breaststroke
    • Katie Ledecky: 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle; 800 freestyle; 1,500 freestyle
    katie ledecky paige madison
    Source: Getty Images

    Katie Ledecky and Paige Madden.

    • Paige Madden: 400 freestyle; 800 freestyle; 4x200 freestyle relay
    • Simone Manuel: 50 freestyle; 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Anna Peplowski, Illinois: 4x200 freestyle relay
    • Alex Shackell: 200 butterfly; 4x200 freestyle relay
    • Regan Smith: 100 backstroke; 200 backstroke; 200 butterfly
    • Alex Walsh: 200 individual medley
    • Gretchen Walsh: 100 butterfly; 50 freestyle; 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Emma Weber: 100 breaststroke
    • Claire Weinstein: 200 freestyle
    • Abbey Weitzeil: 4x100 freestyle relay
    • Emma Weyant: 400 individual medley
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