U.S. swimming standout Katie Ledecky is joining Florida as a volunteer assistant coach and will train for the 2024 Olympics in Gainesville.
“I feel really great about this decision,” Ledecky told the Washington Post. “I know the training will be challenging. And just entering a new environment and having some change, there is an opportunity for growth.”
Ledecky was an eight-time NCAA champion at Stanford but is more famous for her Olympic gold medals — her six individual golds are the most of any American female athlete in any sport ever; she has seven golds total — 15 world championships and setting world records. At this year’s Tokyo Games, the 24-year-old Maryland native became the first U.S. female swimmer to win one event, the 800-meter freestyle, in three straight Olympics. She also won the 1,500 freestyle and earned two silver medals, in the 400 freestyle and 800 freestyle relay.
Gators coach Anthony Nesty was an assistant on the U.S. Olympic team this year, and Ledecky trained with Gators Bobby Finke, a Clearwater native who won gold in the 800 and 1,500 freestyle, and Kieran Smith (bronze, 400 freestyle) at the Americans’ pre-Games training camp.
“The knowledge and experience that Katie brings to the pool are unparalleled,” Nesty said in a statement. “In addition to her obvious excellence as a swimmer, Katie is an exceptional person who will make a great impact on the student-athletes here. Katie’s values are in total alignment with the Florida program, and we’re so excited to have her join the Gators as she continues to train for the 2024 Olympics.”
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