For superstar US swimmer Katie Ledecky, a five-time Olympic gold medalist who has 15 world championship titles and has broken 14 world records, the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because of the coronavirus pandemic was disappointing, “but it was certainly the right call,” she told CNN on Thursday.
“I think we all expected it, as we saw how things were going around the world, and here in the US a lot of athletes weren’t able to train, and we could see in the future that was going to be the case,” Ledecky said.
“And it doesn’t really make sense to bring everyone from around the world together in the middle of a pandemic.”
Like others, Ledecky was scrambling to find a place to swim. But while she normally trains at Stanford, everything in the Bay Area is closed down, she said.
“During these last couple of weeks we’ve been able to swim in some backyard pools, just very small groups,” Ledecky said. “And really I’m not doing anything besides staying in my apartment trying to stay in shape the best I can. But pretty much doing what everyone else is, hunkering down.”
When normalcy returns is anyone’s guess. But for Ledecky, she is confident when that happens, she’ll be able to get back up to the level she’s accustomed to.
“I think I’ll be able to get back there pretty quickly,” she said. “I think we’re all facing the same uncertainty of we don’t know when things will be back to normal and what that new normal will look like. But I think once we can start kind of knowing what that will look like and when the Olympics will exactly be, we can get back into hard training and work towards Tokyo.”
As for her goals, they aren’t changing. She just knows she’ll have to wait a bit longer.
“I still have goals I wanted to achieve, goals that I was hoping to achieve this summer,” Ledecky said. “But I’m perfectly fine putting those on the back burner for next year and staying committed to those goals.
“Goal setting has been crucial to me and keeps me motivated every day to get out of bed and work out hard. And I want to represent Team USA next year and do it really well.
“I think it’s going to be really cool if everything comes together. Hopefully we can continue to fight this disease and reduce the spread and be able to compete in Tokyo. But I think when we get there, it’s going to be a true celebration of the world being able to come together again.”