On Sunday August 7, 2016, American swimmers Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps smashed their records and won gold during much anticipated competitions. The 19-year old Katie Ledecky beat her own record in the 400-meter freestyle. Michael Phelps, 31 years old, already a multi-year olympic records holder, added to his
Olympic record, winning a 19th gold medal.
The two wins appeared to epitomize the transition the US Swimming team is going through: Katie Ledecky has just started and Michael Phelps is at the end of his career. He came out of a self-imposed retirement to compete in Rio Olympics.
Katie Ledecky won a medal in the last London Olympics when she was only 15. Michael Phelps is already a legend. Before Rio Olympics, he held 18 gold medals, out of 22, the most gold medals of all time. He literally saved the US team, when he took the second leg of 4x100 m. The US was already behind after the first leg. Michael Phelps regained the lead, after, according to himself, was the faster 100m of his entire career. The US team held the lead until the end, beating the favored France. France won the race four years ago at the London Olympics.