Motivated Katie Ledecky Finally Feeling Like Herself After Worlds Illness (VIDEO INTERVIEW)

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Katie Ledecky after the 800 free at worlds. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

After hours of rest and a return flight to California, Katie Ledecky is finally starting to feel like herself again after dealing with a stomach virus at the World Championships in Gwangju.

And she is motivated.

It is tough not to be motivated when she was forced to pull out of two events at worlds and didn’t perform her best on the biggest stage.

But Ledecky has put that part of is past her now.

“These are still going to be tough races for me next year when I am healthy, and I will take a lot of motivation away from the worlds I had,” Ledecky said. “It happens to ever athlete. Fortunately, it never happened at a big meet like this until now. I guess I have been lucky over the years that nothing like this has happened.”

 

But it did happen — at the worst time.

Ledecky wasn’t feeling herself when she finished second in the 400 free, but she wasn’t sure what was going on. That is why she didn’t talk about it after the race.

“I didn’t want to take away from the great race Ariarne (Titmus) had. It was a great race. I also didn’t really know what was going on with me until it really hit me the morning after. I am not lying when I say I almost got out at the 1100 mark. I had never felt like that before,” Katie Ledecky said. “I had some sort of stomach virus. It just wiped me out during the meet with a lot of different symptoms. I had a lot of fatigue, dehydration, weight loss, sleep trouble. It feels good to be better now and taking a bit of a break right now.”

It might be a break, but Ledecky’s focus remains on 2020.

“I want to learn as much as I can from this and move on from it,” she said.

One of those things she learned was how to handle a week like that and make a comeback. She ended up swimming the 800 free and coming back in the last 50 to win gold ahead of Italy’s Simona Quadarella.

It wasn’t her best race, but it was perhaps her most impressive race.

“It was good racing. I didn’t care about time at that point. The only goal of that race was go for a medal. I put myself in contention for gold. It was a race that was different from any other race I have probably ever swum, where I had to assess how I was feeling and adjust in the fly. I went out for it from the start. It felt a little rough in the middle of the race and Simona Quadarella pulled up to me. She had a great race and stuck with me. I just tried to stick with her and make a move,” she said.

“Being out of the water for a couple days, swimming an 800, I didn’t have the same feel or strength,” Katie Ledecky said. “I was hoping I got some of that by the end of the race. It didn’t really happen, but I was able to stay calm and stay in the race and trust I could put in a kick the last 50 and tough it out for 29 seconds and get my hand to the wall.”

That race made the difference between the week being disappointed and a disaster.

“I am pretty happy with how I was able to handle it. I did the best I could. The biggest thing was that I was lucky to be in such great hands with the team doctors and Greg (Meehan) and the coaches. I did everything I could to stay positive and stay focused,” she said. “It was a good feeling to end on that not and not end on a really horrible feeling. It still kind of stings what happened, but you can’t control some of those things. It is nice to take a bit of a positive and a gold medal back home.”

6 comments

  1. Troy Nissen

    I like it but also the wording makes it sound like she has never had a stomach virus before? No hate just saying.

  2. Martin Berbetti Guzmán

    La experiencia de un campeón (a) se construye con el éxito y el fracaso…en la cima y en el piso. Muy enriquecedora experiencia. Como para transmitir ese espíritu.
    Yassir Abdalla
    Aldo Esteban Castillo

  3. Bob McKeon

    She a champ every way you look at it –

  4. Dick Simpson

    Love this young lady. A true champion.

  5. avatar
    Rosalee Kalil

    Katie is the greatest champion!! Go Katie, always!!!💕💙🌹