Team USA seems to have secured the greatest female swimmer of all time for several more future competitions. After her win on Saturday with the 800-meter freestyle, Katie Ledecky earned seven gold medals.
She is only one gold medal away from beating the record held by American swimmer Jenny Thompson. She has the most medals of any female swimmer in Olympics history.
Katie Ledecky was also in the news on Wednesday after swimming away with the gold in the 1,500-meter freestyle. It was the first time this event was featured in the Games. Her 2020 Tokyo Olympics experience came to an end with her last race — the 4×200-meter relay, in which she helped secure a silver medal.
China got the gold and the Australian team got bronze.
Future Olympics for Ledecky
While it may have been the last race in Tokyo this year, Ledecky is far from hanging up the swimming cap. She confirmed that she would be at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“That was not my last swim. I’m at least going to ’24, maybe ’28. We’ll see. You never take anything for granted. You don’t know if you’re gonna be back at the next Olympics, so you just try to soak it all in,” Ledecky said, according to NBC Sports.
Her Olympics experience this year included two gold medals and two silver medals, bringing her grand total to 10 medals. To any person, Olympian or not, Ledecky has already achieved the extraordinary. However, she seems to believe there’s a lot of unfinished business in the pool.
Fans first got a glimpse at the swimming legend when she competed in the Olympics back in 2012 when she was only 15. At that age, she was able to walk away with a gold in the 800-meter freestyle. Then she got four gold medals and silver when she came back in 2016 for the Rio Olympics.
At only 24 years old, Katie Ledecky has a lot more time to spend in between the lanes, putting in hours at the pool. Michael Phelps is currently 36 years old and while he may tease fans, has no plans of getting back in the water.
Katie Ledecky and a Love for Swimming
Ledecky, however, isn’t just sticking around for fame and glory. She revealed that she loves the day-to-day routine that comes with life in the pool.
“I’m still young. Twenty-four is not that old. People are sticking around in this sport into their 30s. I still love this sport. I love it more and more every year. I feel I’m going to give every ounce I have to this sport. I love the training, I love the day-to-day. I’m just going to keep doing it until I feel like it’s time. Obviously, the Olympics in 2028 are in L.A. so that’s kind of out there and appealing also,” Katie Ledecky said during a press conference.
She has been incredibly persistent during her journey toward Olympics history. During the spring of 2020, she was out doing laps in former swimmer Tod Spieker’s backyard pool. It was a great way for her to practice safely amidst an incredibly tragic period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In a very difficult time with this pandemic, I felt very good about having them continue to chase their dream,” Spieker said to the Wall Street Journal.