Other Sports

5 things to know about Katie Ledecky before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

USA Today Sports Images

5 things to know about Katie Ledecky before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Katie Ledecky established herself as the new face of USA Swimming at 18 years old. 

Now she's back following a successful college career at Stanford and is poised to dominate another Olympic games this summer in Tokyo, Japan. 

In preparation for the games, here are five things you'll want to know about the Washington, D.C. native before she starts lapping her competitors in the pool. 

The youngest US Olympian at the 2012 games

While she dominated in 2016, Ledecky first broke out in 2012 at the London Games. She qualified as a 15-year-old and was the youngest American participant in London that year. 

As if making it to the Olympics at 15 wasn't impressive enough, Ledecky shocked the world when she won the 800m freestyle by more than four seconds and broke Janet Evans' American record set in 1989. 

The performance earned herself the 2012 Best Female Performance of the Year and Breakout Performance of the Year at the Golden Goggle Awards. 

DMV roots

Ledecky was born in Washington, D.C. in March of 1997 and attended school in Bethesda, MD. She graduated from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in 2015 and twice set the American and US Open record in the 500-yard freestyle and set the national high school record in the 200-yard freestyle twice as well. 

Oh, and she grew up a huge Capitals fan.

Ledecky has a "slam" named after her

From 2014 to 2015, Ledecky established herself as the best women's swimmer in the world. In back-to-back years, she swept the 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships in 2014 and the 2015 World Championships. 

Sweeping all four events is now called the "Ledecky Slam." Ledecky wasn't able to complete her slam in the 2016 games, but that's only because the 1500m freestyle wasn't on the docket.

The Tokyo games have added the event, so Ledecky can officially go for her patented slam on the biggest stage. 

2016 dominance

When the 2016 Olympics rolled around, Ledecky was poised to take home multiple gold medals. 

She swept every individual competition she was in, claiming gold in the 200, 400 and 800m freestyle. She also set world records in the 400 and 800m. 

In the team events, Ledecky came away with a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay and a silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay despite setting a new American record. 

Events Ledecky will compete in this summer

As we've stated before, the 1500m meter freestyle is a new addition at this year's Olympic games, and Ledecky plans to swim in it. She'll also compete in the three other freestyle events included in the Ledecky Slam. 

She will also compete in the freestyle relays for the U.S.

Women's swimming events will begin on July 25 in Tokyo and will run through August 5. 


In the Loop: Peyton Manning crashes an online class, the Tebows get three new puppies

In the Loop: Peyton Manning crashes an online class, the Tebows get three new puppies

First up, most college classes have been converted to online group lectures and this University of Tennessee communications class had an extra student jump on their call. Proud Volunteer alum Peyton Manning shared some words of encouragement! The students were stunned and one girl even threw her professor under the bus for not warning them to put on makeup and look more presentable for this class.  

Next up, Tim Tebow and his wife Demi welcome not just one, not two, but three puppies to their family. Meet the Tebow Pack! I would love to be a fly on the wall in that household with all those puppies.  

View this post on Instagram

Happy family. Meet @thetebowpack

A post shared by Tim Tebow (@timtebow) on

View this post on Instagram

...But Paris needed a brother. Meet Kobe!

A post shared by Tim Tebow (@timtebow) on


Finally, the sports world fell in love with the Still family years ago when former NFL defensive end Devon Still shared the story of his precious daughter, Leah, battling cancer. Leah is now five years cancer-free and celebrated with a steakhouse dinner at home. That spread looks delicious and she deserves every bit of that. Leah is an inspiration and the true definition of strength! 

What happened in Netflix's Tiger King, Episode One

What happened in Netflix's Tiger King, Episode One

Netflix's seven-episode documentary, Tiger King, follows the life of a man who calls himself Joe Exotic. Not only does he own over 200 big cats on his private zoo in Oklahoma, but he is also accused of being involved in a murder-for-hire plot. The series has animal rights activists, a true-crime plot and some wild characters (pun intended). Lucky for you, we are recapping each episode.  

Episode 1: Not Your Average Joe

"Monkey people are a little different... big cat people are backstabbing pieces of [expletive]." 

We are introduced to Joe Screibvogel aka Joe Exotic via a phone call from The Grady County Jail. Accused of involvement in a murder-for-hire plot against a well-known animal rights activist, he is being threatened with the 79-year sentence. 

No story ever starts with a man in jail. This story spans years and years of feuding, way before Netflix decided to ask, "what is going on with people keeping big cats in this country?" back in 2014.

A man with a mullet, eyebrow ring and a baby tiger in hand appears on the screen. This is Joe Exotic. 

He began building Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (G.W. Zoo)  in 1999 and is now home to almost 200 big cats and other exotic animals. His staff, described as a family of misfits, is introduced to us one by one. 

There is Erik, John aka "Rink", and Kelci aka "Saff". Each member of this "family" seems to have two things in common: They came to G.W. Zoo in need of a place to belong and unwavering love for these cats. 

Note: It is illegal to keep big cats and other exotic animals as pets in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. So, don't get any ideas. 

The love Joe Exotic has for these cats is very apparent. He believes that people will protect what directly affects them. So, if you hold a baby tiger and look it in the eyes, how could you not feel the need to save the rainforest? 

He hosts a live stream each night on Joe Exotic TV to talk about two things, his love for his cats and his hatred for Carole Baskin. 

Baskin, a flower-crown wearing animal rights activist and owner of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida, has a mission to save animals that are bred to be kept in cages, like the ones at the G.W. Zoo. 

Their feud began in 2006, we learn. Joe Exotic was traveling around to shopping malls showing off his animals. Carole would email (and encourage others) to reach out to the owners of the malls to refuse his traveling show. The malls would become overwhelmed with emails that Joe and is show would get banned. And thus, the cycle continued. 

This feud, however, involved more than just the two of them. PETA was on Carol's side and a man named Doc Antle, a fellow private zoo owner was on Joe's.

Doc Antle owns and operates a private exotic zoo in Myrtle Beach, SC. His animals have been featured in movies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dr. Doolittle, and The Jungle Book. 

Like Joe, he too just loves his cats and wants to keep his zoo out of the hands of people like Carole. And it seems, Joe will do it by any means necessary. 

"This is my little town," he says of the zoo. "I'm the mayor, the prosecutor, the cop and the executioner."

Joe and Doc seem to believe that Carole is worse than them. She is profiting off of her cats while "brainwashing" others to believe that they are hurting their cats. 

"People who really love animals are rarely ruthless," Doc explained that is exactly what Carole is, ruthless. 

Note: I don't want to give anything away... but in future episodes, we really get a definition of the word ruthless. 

Episode one ends with a flash-forward to the phone call from Grady County Jail. "Before this is over... I will shut everybody down," Joe Exotic warns. Even after one episode, it's clear that Joe Exotic is not messing around.