Rio 2016 Olympics day two highlight: Katie Ledecky FTW

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The further into the Rio Olympics we get, each subsequent day becomes more and more jam-packed with events to cover and discern as which would be the proper highlight of the previous day.

Early Day Two was a day for the underdog stories like Rio-born Hugo Calderano making an underdog comeback for the ages in men’s singles table tennis by knocking off Hong Kong’s Tang Peng, and then the titans of tennis crumbled in early rounds of competition – Venus and Serena Williams fell to Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova, and Novak Djokovic lost to Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina – making the underdog story the most obvious narrative of the day. That is, until Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vlueten suffered a horrific crash that left her with three cracked vertebrae and a cranial contusion, making Rio 2/2 on horrific injuries in competition thus far.

Despite the obvious disappointment in Venus and Serena’s early exit from the women’s doubles competition, and the discomforting concern over van Vlueten’s crash, Day Two of the Olympics featured more than enough successes on the USA’s behalf, and in a glamour sport no less.

Day Two saw a number of individual and relay finals in swimming come to a close, many of which were won by some of the most well known athletes on the American team. Michael Phelps attained his 19th gold medal – the most all-time – in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, as he continues to solidify his Olympiad legacy.

While Phelps’ win is an historic one, Phelps was far overshadowed by another American, who seems poised to carry his legendary mantle for Olympics to come, following the close of his career in Rio – Katie Ledecky. Competing in the women’s individual 400m freestyle, Ledecky confirmed her status as the Usain Bolt of the water, absolutely crushing her former PR in the event, and subsequently setting a seemingly impenetrable world record. At the age of 19, Ledecky is already the most dominant female swimmer in the world, and she maintained such an assertion in the event, of which she completed in 3 minutes, 56 seconds.

Ledecky has two more individual events of which she is favored, 200 and 800m freestyle, so her reign of dominance is likely not over yet. Its likely that Ledecky comes out of these Games as the newfound bastion of American Olympic hope, and if she and 19-year old air riflist Ginny Thrasher are any indication, the early narrative for the USA at these Games is that there’s a youth movement happening in Rio.

This article originally appeared on as Rio 2016 Olympics day two highlight: Katie Ledecky FTW.

Sean considers himself a poor man's polymath and finds solipsism amusing. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @mchugh_sean, or not. That's fine.

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