Team USA swimmer Katie Grimes should be on your radar.
The 15-year-old distance freestyle swimmer placed second (8:17.05) behind US teammate Katie Ledecky in her Olympic debut. Ledecky nabbed first (8:15.67), in their 800m freestyle heat on Thursday.
Ledecky and Grimes, dubbed “Katie squared” by Ledecky, both advanced to the Women’s 800m Freestyle Final on Saturday.
Grimes, who turned 15 in January, is the youngest American Olympian in Tokyo. The Las Vegas native is also the youngest U.S. Olympic swimmer since Amanda Beard, who made the 1996 team at age 14. Grimes competes for the Sandpipers of Nevada.
After the qualifying event in June, Ledecky, a six-time gold medalist, told Grimes she is the “future.” Fast forward to the Tokyo Olympics, when Grimes placed second in the 800 freestyle, and Ledecky had a different outlook about the teen swim prodigy.
“I told her after the mile, I was like, ‘You’re the future. That was an incredible time,’” Ledecky said in a press conference after Thursday’s 800. “And when I got over to her [after the 800], I told her, ‘Heck yeah I mean you’re the now. You’re the present.’”
After Grimes qualified to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in the 800m freestyle event, she expressed her excitement to be competing alongside Ledecky.
“I am very honored, she is topping so much already. I used to think it was just cool that we had the same first name, but now we’re gonna be on the team together,” she said, admitting, “I’m speechless right now, I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am.”