Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky broke out at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The two star Americans solidified themselves as the best in their respective sports, each taking home four gold medals and setting the stage for a several years of dominance in international competition. Biles came into the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with 25 world championship medals — 19 gold — that was the most all-time among gymnasts, while Ledecky’s 20 gold medals between the Olympics and world championships were the most of any women’s swimmer in history.
The 2021 Tokyo Olympics were supposed to be the time for each to continue their dominance, but instead they came down to Earth a little. Ledecky fell short of gold in two individual events while Biles withdrew from all but one of her events due to the twisties and to focus on her metal health.
Ledecky still added four medals to her collection (two gold, two silver) and Biles added two (silver, bronze). But by the end of their time in Tokyo, both faced questions about their Olympic futures, particularly their status for the 2024 Paris Games. Ledecky answered resoundingly that she will be competing in 2024, and even said the 2028 Los Angeles Games were a distinct possibility, when she will be 31. Biles is “leaving the door open” for competing in Paris.
With the two potentially nearing the end of their magnificent careers in the Olympics, Sporting News is taking a look at what to expect from them moving forward, and who the next faces…