King poses with the gold medal in front of the special world record stand // Getty Images

Swimming

Midwestern values, Olympic values — what kind of values here?

BUDAPEST — Lilly King grew up in Evansville, Indiana. I grew up near Dayton, Ohio. They’re about four hours apart via a combination of interstate highways. In the summertime, you can see a lot of green and a lot of fields along those roads. We are talking serious midwest.

Maybe Lilly King and I learned a different set of midwestern values.

Katie Ledecky after setting a new world record -- in the heats -- in the 1500 free // Getty Images

Swimming

An indisputable U.S. swim bright spot: Katie Ledecky

KAZAN, Russia — For Katie Ledecky, every single race on the big stage becomes an opportunity to make the superbly difficult look so easy.

On Monday, in the preliminary rounds of the women’s 1500 freestyle, the 30-lap race that swimmers call the mile, Ledecky broke her own world record, touching in 15:27.71, 65-hundredths faster than she had gone last August at the Pan Pacific championships in Australia.