WASHINGTON — Katie Ledecky was the most decorated female athlete of the 2016 Olympic Games – winning four gold medals, one silver, and breaking two world records.
On June 14, she looks to make a big splash at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials for the summer games in Tokyo. Expectations are high for this Bethesda native, and she has every intention of living up to them.
“I’m constantly thinking about ways I can improve and even after the best races, I usually walk away with some things I can improve on and work on,” said Ledecky.
Despite great success, Ledecky is always pushing to be better. When the pandemic forced pools to close, Ledecky didn’t take a break and found other ways to continue training.
“The first three months I was training in a backyard pool and doing my weight training in an apartment and so I was really missing the normal training environment,” said Ledecky.
She found unique ways to challenge herself during the pandemic.
A video of Ledecky swimming across a pool with a glass of chocolate milk on her head went viral.
“I thought people would think it was fun and cool, but I had no idea it would go as viral as it did,” said Ledecky.
Whether in a backyard pool or in competition, Ledecky’s talents garner her fans all over the world, and when she competes for half a world away from this summer – she’ll be thinking of her supporters here in her hometown.
“Of course, everyone back home, in the DC area, I always feel their support and I hope that we’ll have a lot to celebrate this Fall after the Olympics,” said Ledecky.
She also said while all of her five gold medals mean the world to her, there is one that holds a special place in her heart.
“My very first gold medal in 2012, the 800 free when I was 15 years old. It was my first international swimming competition, let alone my first Olympic race, and so that one means a whole lot to me, as it was just the launching point for the swimming career that I’ve had,” said Ledecky.
Ledecky has lofty ambitions for this Olympics. According to Team USA, she is looking to qualify to compete in the 200, 400, 800, the newly added 1500-meter freestyle, as well as the 2x400-meter freestyle relay; that’s five events, which could result in 5 more golds for the DMV’s golden girl.
If she’s able to accomplish that, she’ll become the winningest female in Olympic history.