Katie Ledecky: Cheerio To College Racing, Time To Return To Olympic Focus As A Pro

Katie Ledecky, courtesy of Stanford

Katie Ledecky, the five-times Olympic gold medallist and the most decorated woman in World-Championship history, announced today that she is turning what Americans call professional. NCAA rules don’t allow those who race at college to earn money from their sport but Ledecky, two Stanford victories in the vault with teammates these past two years, will forego her last two years of college swimming eligibility in a move that will achieve two key things: the happiness of her bank manager as the endorsements roll in; and more time to focus less on 500 short-course yards as she chases history. Come Tokyo 2020, she could become the third woman and fourth swimmer in history to join the triple-crown club after founder Dawn Fraser, Krisztina Egerszegi and Michael Phelps (the latter the founder member of the quad club as he retained the 200IM crown for a third time)

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Katie Ledecky, the five-times Olympic gold medallist and the most decorated woman in World-Championship history, announced today that she is turning what Americans call professional. NCAA rules don’t allow those who race at college to earn money from their sport but Ledecky, two Stanford victories in the vault with teammates these past two years, will forego her last two years of college swimming eligibility in a move that will achieve two key things: the happiness of her bank manager as the endorsements roll in; and more time to focus less on 500 short-course yards as she chases history. Come Tokyo 2020, she could become the third woman and fourth swimmer in history to join the triple-crown club after founder Dawn Fraser, Krisztina Egerszegi and Michael Phelps (the latter the founder member of the quad club as he retained the 200IM crown for a third time)

Comments

Richard Ortiz

I wonder if the Chinese wonder kids had anything to do with this – if at all? I realize those young ladies are quite young, but their potential improvement curve is a possible threat to Katie’s dominance.
Training with Tokyo in mind as well as her younger rivals will (hopefully) push Katie to a new level of PRs. I would love to know what is going on inside her mind and the time goals she has written down.

Craig Lord

Can’t speak for what’s in her mind, of course… 🙂 but this was suggested as the plan when she switched from Bruce G to Greg M on her way to Stanford… two seasons of college racing before return to the stream of pure Tokyo, so to speak…fascinating to see where it goes. Amazing athlete … in very good hands all round, too, all the evidence suggests. One other thing: the NCAA should think hard about its ‘amateur’ rules in 2018 (I realise it won’t want to and I hear the arguments in favour of leaving thins as they are… but there’s a new world of swimming on the horizon and the lines between that and college sport in the U.S. will get ever more blurred and will require new solutions…)

Richard Ortiz

Agreed. 100%.

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