One of the most decorated swimmers in Olympic history is headed for new waters: the Swamp. Katie Ledecky, a 10-time Olympic medalist with seven golds, announced Wednesday she'll serve as a volunteer swimming coach at the University of Florida while training for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Gainesville.
At Florida the 24-year-old Ledecky will reunite with Gators swimming coach Anthony Nesty, who served on Team USA's staff during the Tokyo Games.
"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."
Ledecky, who earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Stanford during June's Olympic Trials, brings a wealth of college experience and success to the Gators' staff. In only two years of collegiate swimming Ledecky won eight individual NCAA championships and powered the Cardinal to consecutive NCAA and Pac-12 titles from 2017-18.
The three-time Olympian has dominated the international stage as much as college, winning the most medals of any female Team USA athlete in her last two appearances at the Games. Ledecky's seven gold medals in Olympic individual events are the most ever by a female Team USA athlete.
"I'm excited to be a part of the University of Florida's world-class swimming and diving program and train for the 2024 Olympics with Coach Anthony Nesty, and the top-tier mid-distance and distance training group," said Ledecky, who also cited Gainesville's proximity to her home in Maryland as a reason for the move. "My years at Stanford, both academically and athletically, were nothing short of incredible and I'm looking forward to the opportunity and challenges that lie ahead in Gainesville."
Ledecky has spent the last five years training at her alma mater under Team USA coach Greg Meehan. She'll now work with a 1988 Olympic gold medalist in Nesty and fellow Olympic medalists Bobby Finke and Kieran Smith, and she's amped for the challenge to compete with the men.
"I think I always benefit from training with the guys," Ledecky told USA Today, "so I'll be able to do that very consistently down in Florida with athletes who have similar goals that I do to compete on the international level in those events. They have a very deep group of male distance and mid-distance swimmers and I'm really excited about that."
Ledecky won't be the only Olympic superstar in Florida's pool. Fellow American Caeleb Dressel, a seven-time Olympic gold medalist who won a school-record 10 NCAA Championships with the Gators, also trains in Gainesville under coach Gregg Troy.