By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated August 04, 2012 at 05:01 AM EDT
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Lee Jin-man/AP

When I was 15, I spent my days cutting out pictures of the Backstreet Boys from PopStar, Tiger Beat, J-14, Teen Pop Scene Steam Clean or something like that. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Katie Ledecky just won herself a gold medal. (Kids these days — so ambitious. When do they have time for the important things, like TV? That’s how I was raised and I turned out TV.)

Today in London, the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic delegation set a new American record in the 800m Freestyle with a time of 8:14:63, delivering a total

upset for Great Britain’s Rebecca Adlington, who was the favorite going into today’s race.

And as if her amazing accomplishment wasn’t enough to earn her stud status, Ledecky also won points with me for her show of emotion during her medal ceremony. I’m not sure what it is with these Olympic-bots, but I just don’t think we see enough happy tears. Maybe they’re taught not to cry on the podium (or maybe I’m a weepy wimp), but seeing Ledecky shed a few tears up there was a great moment. So note to Olympians (who I’m sure hang on PopWatch’s every word): When accepting your medal, try changing your dial from “compete/kill” to “feel.” Makes for great TV.

Now it’s time to hand out Studly Honorable Mentions: The first goes to Bronze medalist Adlington, who was a total picture of class. Immediately after the race, she leaned into Ledecky’s lane and told her that her efforts were “awesome.” So for your fine sportsmanship, you’re an honorary stud, Adlington, which is sort of like winning another Bronze. The second honorable Stud is a literal studFlorent Manaudou’s tongue piercing, which he displayed proudly after winning gold in the 50-meter Freestyle. (UPDATE: After Googling him for possibly the tenth time this hour, I’ve decided to award honorable stud status to Manaudou in his entirety. Exhibit A, B, and C.)

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