‘Excited’ About Training, Katie Ledecky Ready for What 2021 Will Bring

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Katie Ledecky is excited about her training and looking forward to the calendar clicking over to 2021, she said in an interview with the Today Show Wednesday.

Ledecky spoke to the Today Show seven months ahead of the opening of the COVID-19-delayed Tokyo Olympics. While she’s missed competition, the consummate distance swimmer has appreciated the unbroken training time as she seeks to qualify for her third Olympic Games.

“I’m excited,” Ledecky said. “I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to hopefully represent team USA. I’m training hard and getting ready to go for 2021. … I’m excited for what I can do in competition next year.”

Ledecky, the six-time Olympic medalist and holder of three world records, has spent the time training and working out at home, in addition to finishing her degree from Stanford and taking over the Internet with her in-pool exploits. The 23-year-old is encouraged by the accelerated progress for a COVID-19 vaccine and will gladly be in line to get hers once they’re available.

“I’m definitely going to get the vaccine when it’s available to me,” she said. “I’m so happy to see so many healthcare workers getting it now, and I know eventually it will be available for all of us, and I’m looking forward to getting it. I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to work. I’m just going to keep my ears open and make sure I get it when it’s available to me.”

Ledecky is one of the top American swimmers heading into the Olympic year, thought she’ll still face a battle to get to Tokyo in at least three individual events, with the 1,500 freestyle added to the Games to augment the 400 and 800 for the women.

As soon as the Olympics were postponed last spring, Ledecky saw the opportunity for the Games to be a great celebration of global resistance once it was safe for them to be staged. As that possibility inches ever closer, the excitement is heightened.

“I think right when the Olympics were postponed, I started thinking about how special that really could be, with kind of the first time hopefully the world is able to come together and cheer on their athletes,” Katie Ledecky said. “And I hope we’re in a good place by July of 2021 and it can be a tribute to the world coming together to defeat the virus.”