Katie Ledecky came into the Rio Olympics facing enormous expectations. Some athletes might've buckled under the pressure. She seemed to thrive on it. The 19-year-old from suburban Washington capped off one of the greatest performances in Olympic history with her fourth gold medal and second world record, shattering her own mark in the 800-meter freestyle Friday night, the AP reports. Ledecky and Debbie Meyers are now the only female swimmers to sweep the three longest freestyle races. Meyers took the 200, 400, and 800 at Mexico City in 1968.
Ledecky also followed fellow swimmers Amy Van Dyken and Missy Franklin as the only American women to win as many as four golds in a single Olympics. Along with her individual golds, Ledecky also topped the podium with the 4x200 relay. "I'm just proud to be part of that history," says Ledecky, who broke down in tears on the medal stand, relishing her accomplishments and surely thinking about all the work she put in to make it there. "The Olympics are the pinnacle of our sport and I have to wait another four years to have that moment and I just wanted to enjoy it," she says. "The memories mean more than the medals to me." (Read more Katie Ledecky stories.)