From A Distance, Debbie Meyer Seeing Herself Again In Katie Ledecky

RIO DE JANEIRO - Every day, as Katie Ledecky gets closer to matching Debbie Meyer’s singular Olympic swimming triple, Meyer finds herself feeling closer to Ledecky. 

In ways big and small. 

“The similarities seem more and more as time goes on,” Meyer said via telephone this week from Truckee, California. 

From some 7,000 miles away, she is assiduously following Ledecky’s quest to become the second woman to win the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles in the same Olympics. 

Meyer did it in the 1968 Olympics. Now that Ledecky has won the 200 freestyle, the only race in which she was not an overwhelming favorite, it seems a foregone conclusion that she will attain the same elevated status as Meyer after Friday’s final of the 800-meter. In 2016, no one has come within 11 seconds of Ledecky’s time in the event, a world-record 8 minutes, 6.68 seconds.