Katie Ledecky won gold in the first women's 1500-meter race at the Olympics but was more excited for her teammate who fought back for silver

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·2-min read
Katie Ledecky won gold in the first women's 1500-meter race at the Olympics but was more excited for her teammate who fought back for silver
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Katie Ledecky reaches into the lane of Erica Sullivan to embrace and celebrate after they placed 1-2 in the 1,500 meters
Katie Ledecky celebrates with her teammate Erica Sullivan. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
  • Katie Ledecky won gold in the first women's 1500-meter swim at the Olympics on Tuesday night.

  • Ledecky was joined on the podium by teammate Erica Sullivan, who rode a late charge to take silver.

  • Ledecky appeared even more excited when she realized Sullivan had gotten second place.

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The legend of Katie Ledecky continues to grow.

On Tuesday night, Ledecky won the first women's 1500-meter swim in Olympic history, taking gold in dominant fashion over a field of talented swimmers.

Just behind Ledecky, her fellow American Erica Sullivan made an astounding push through the final 500 meters of the race, moving from the middle of the pack all the way into second place to take silver.

After Ledecky finished the race, she looked up at the board and then over to the lane next to her where Sullivan was swimming.

Upon realizing Sullivan had gotten silver, Ledecky slapped the water with joy and rushed over to embrace her teammate.

Ledecky was emotional about her own win, but she might have shown more joy for Sullivan's push to second and the fact that they'd be sharing the top two spots on the podium.

After the race, Ledecky and Sullivan spoke with Michele Tafoya of NBC.

"Man, I'm so happy for Erica!" Ledecky exclaimed after breaking down her portion of the interview.

Sullivan, in turn, thanked Ledecky for the inspiration she provided in the pool.

"There was a point when I saw Katie ahead of me, and she was the only one," Sullivan said. "It really gives you the energy, having someone you look up to for years, seeing them a few meters, several meters in front of you, using it to get home."

Swimming might look like an individual sport from afar, but in the pool, teammates are helping one another more than many of us watching at home realize.

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