Katie Ledecky dominated yet again in 2022, but she already has her sights set on the future.
The 25-year-old swimmer won the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year award, announced Wednesday. She won all four of her events at the 2022 world championships, for 22 career medals and 19 career golds in that competition.
Ledecky, who also won the AP award in 2017, was selected by a panel of 40 sportswriters and editors. She and track star Sydney McLaughlin each received the same number of total points (22), but Ledecky won the tiebreaker, with 10 first-place votes compared to nine for McLaughlin.
Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson finished third, followed by South Carolina women’s basketball forward Aliyah Boston and Polish tennis player Iga Świątek in fourth.
Katie Ledecky earns AP's Female Athlete of the Year. This is the Olympian's second time winning the accolade.She was chosen by a panel of 40 sports writers and editors from news outlets across the country. https://t.co/VVJpPttheQ pic.twitter.com/bzehmopFCr— The Associated Press (@AP) December 28, 2022
Katie Ledecky earns AP's Female Athlete of the Year. This is the Olympian's second time winning the accolade.She was chosen by a panel of 40 sports writers and editors from news outlets across the country. https://t.co/VVJpPttheQ pic.twitter.com/bzehmopFCr
“I know so many great athletes have won this honor,” Ledecky said. “I’m really happy — happy with how my year went, and also excited about the future.”
As this year ends, she is eying the 2024 Olympics in Paris, where she is expected to compete in at least four events.
At the world championships in Budapest, she won her specialties — the 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle — and also won the 400 freestyle and the 4×200 freestyle relay.
She has not slowed down, even as she shifted her training from California to Florida. She has held the long-course world record in both the 800 and 1,500 since 2013, and she won both races by at least 10 seconds at worlds. She also set the short-course records in both events this year, though she rarely competes in short-course races.
“I’m very driven, and I’m always setting new goals for myself no matter what I’ve achieved in the past,” she told NBC Sports earlier this month. “I’m always looking forward, I don’t take very many breaks, and so it’s always on to the next goal and making sure I’m doing the little things right and doing the things I need to do to reach my goals.”
Ledecky has not counted out the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported.
“I’m always setting new goals for myself,” Ledecky said. “I enjoy the process more and more every year. What it takes to stay at this level. What it takes to continue to have your eyes set on something that’s a couple of years away.”