Katie Ledecky, right, with a fan at the Mesa Grand Prix earlier this year // photo Getty Images

Katie Ledecky, right, with a fan at the Mesa Grand Prix earlier this year // photo Getty Images

Swimming

Katie Ledecky version 2014

The wall-to-wall coverage of the soccer World Cup has tended to obscure what the American swimmer Katie Ledecky did at a low-key meet that concluded Sunday near Houston. It shouldn’t.

It isn’t just that Ledecky set two world records in the 1500 and 800, the two women’s freestyle races that for decades featured records impervious to change. She won across the board — 1500, 800, 400, 200, 100. It has been more than 40 years since Australia’s Shane Gould held every women’s freestyle record, from the 100 up to the 1500. (The 50 didn’t come until later.) That is borderline preposterous. Then again, so is what Ledecky did this weekend.

Lotte Friis of Denmark, Katie Ledecky of the United States and Lauren Boyle of New Zealand with their 1500-meter medals // Getty Images

Lotte Friis of Denmark, Katie Ledecky of the United States and Lauren Boyle of New Zealand with their 1500-meter medals // Getty Images

Swimming

15:36.53 to make a change

BARCELONA — It is 29 years since Joan Benoit ran the marathon at the Los Angeles Summer Games.

Women now compete at the Summer Games in wrestling and boxing. At the 2012 London Games, every national Olympic committee in the world — finally — sent female competitors. The U.S. team was more than 50 percent female.

Uncategorized

Janet Evans: no compromise, no limits, all courage

OMAHA — Janet Evans came out of the water after swimming her preliminary heat in the 400 meters and said, with a big smile, albeit perhaps a little ruefully, “Janet just got 80th with a 4:21!”

This was after the sixth heat of 12. Janet, who had just finished seventh in her bunch of nine, had no idea what place she would ultimately finish. All she knew at that instant was that she was for sure not going to make the U.S. Olympic Team in the 400 and yet the crowd was cheering for her like crazy.