Ledecky Turns Professional, Focuses on 2020 Tokyo Olympics
After profitable a second straight NCAA championship swimming for Stanford earlier this month, Maryland native Katie Ledecky is popping professional.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist from Bethesda mentioned she’s going to proceed taking courses at Stanford, the place she’s majoring in psychology.
“I’m foregoing the remaining two years of collegiate eligibility and can be specializing in my coaching and accepting skilled endorsements and sponsorships,” Ledecky mentioned.
The choice frees her from the NCAA restrictions on observe time, permitting her to coach laborious for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I am actually wanting ahead to those subsequent couple of years main as much as 2020, and hopefully placing myself in the perfect place to compete nicely in 2020,” she mentioned.
Ledecky, 21, made the announcement at a luncheon on the Nationwide Press Membership Monday afternoon.
“I needed to do that right here in my house city as a result of there are such a lot of individuals right here that I actually care about and the way have helped me get so far,” she mentioned.
Ledecky gained the one occasion she swam on the 2012 Olympics — the 800m freestyle.
After graduating from Stone Ridge College of the Sacred Coronary heart in 2015, she took a niche yr main as much as the 2016 Rio Olympics, the place she gained gold within the 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x200m freestyles. She earned a silver within the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Ledecky was named the AP Feminine Athlete of the 12 months in December after profitable 5 golds and a silver on the World Championships final summer season. That introduced her profession whole to 14 World Championships golds.
She’s additionally damaged 13 world information.
“I by no means would have thought once I began swimming once I was 6 that I might grow to be an expert swimmer, however the fact of the matter is nothing’s modified, actually, in my strategy to the game,” she mentioned. “I do it as a result of I find it irresistible and I encourage all younger youngsters to pursue what they love.”
Ledecky attributes her success to her “need occasions.”
“After I was 6 years previous and all through my swimming profession I’ve at all times set objectives for myself and I used to name them need occasions — the occasions I needed to attain in a special meet or in a sure race, and that’s what I’ve continued to do,” Ledecky mentioned.