Katie Ledecky, Jim Thorpe named Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients

Olympic champions Katie Ledecky and Jim Thorpe (posthumous) will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Friday.

"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors," according to the White House.

Ledecky is a seven-time Olympic swimming gold medalist dating to her first title at the 2012 London Games at age 15. She will bid to make a fourth Olympic team at trials next month in Indianapolis.

In 2022, Thorpe was reinstated as the sole winner of the 1912 Olympic pentathlon and decathlon in Stockholm — nearly 110 years after being stripped of those gold medals for violations of strict amateurism rules of the time.

They join a long list of Olympians to previously be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe in 2022 and, going farther back, Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali and Pat Summitt.