Notifications
GettyImages-587147678
Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

Katie Ledecky is a swimmer on the verge of history.

Gold medals might just be the beginning for the 19-year-old swimmer, who is shattering world records.

Add Rio to her list. In the 400 meter freestyle, she not only crushed the competition, but she destroyed her own world record by over a second.

How badass was it? At times, her competitors—among the best swimmers in the world—were struggling to stay on the television screen.

USA's Katie Ledecky (L) competes to break the World Record in the Women's 400m Freestyle Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016. / AFP / Odd ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Odd Anderson/AFP/Getty Images

Ledecky took home the gold for Team USA with a stunning time of 3:56.46, two seconds ahead of her own record pace. She was followed by Britain's Jazz Carlin at with what the Independent called a a “brilliant swim” of 4:01.23.

Fellow Olympian Leah Smith racked up another medal for Team USA with a Bronze Medal appearance.

USA's Katie Ledecky (L) celebrates with USA's Leah Smith after she broke the World Record in the Women's 400m Freestyle Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016. / AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Bariel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States has moved into the lead in the medal count with 12 medals—three of them gold. Team USA now leads China, which has eight total medals. The men's relay in the 4x100, secured by a strong performance from Michael Phelps, took home yet another gold medal, along with teammates Caeleb Dressel, Anthony Ervin and anchor Nathan Adrian.

As noted by the blog FiveThirtyEight in an article “Katie Ledecky Is The Present And The Future Of Swimming,” there's “dominant” and then there's “dominant.” Katie Ledecky has shattered the world record on twelve separate occasions in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle events.

Image Credit: Martin Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)
Martin Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

This is how much faster Ledecky is than the field:

morris-ledecky-1

Katie Ledecky has a chance to make Olympic history by bringing home even more gold for Team USA. Michael Phelps' Olympic records of 19 gold medals is safe, for now. But Ledecky can move closer to being considered in the same breath as her childhood idol.

“You can tell she is very goal-oriented, and for me it brought me back to kind of what I was like way, way, way back in the day,” 23-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps said, as reported by USA Today. “Every time she gets in the water, it’s like a world record. So she is improving so much and I think she is just trying to push that barrier, and I think it’s pretty exciting to watch her do that.”

Before the Rio Olympics, Ledecky made a list of what she wanted to accomplish: Destroy world records and take home four gold medals. The Olympic champion came a step closer to accomplishing just that with her electrifying performance in the 400 meter freestyle.

GettyImages-587147734
Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images

When talking with Ledecky, Matt Lauer told her: “I asked Michael Phelps what he thought of you. And he said 'STUD.'”