This post was originally written by WJBR Digital Production Intern, Joy Paganucci. Paganucci is a senior Media Communications Honors student at the University of Delaware from New York, NY. Along with being a Digital Content Intern for WJBR, Paganucci also works as Executive Producer for Real Talk, a show on the UD Student Television Network and as an Oral Communications Consultant in the UD Writing Center.
Some call her a “pool legend”, others call her the “female Michael Phelps.” Competitive swimmer Katie Ledecky has impressed the world since the London 2012 Olympics where she got a gold medal at the age of 15!
Ledecky was born on March 17th, 1997 in Washington, DC. Growing up in Bethesda, Maryland, she started swimming at age 6. She trained with Nation’s Capital Swim Club, where she was first coached by Yuri Suguiyama, then followed by Bruce Gemmel. After her freshman year at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, she set an Olympic-trials record in the 800-metre freestyle to qualify for the 2012 London Games as the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic swimming team. After making her splash in London, a lot was expected from Ledecky. She proved herself once again at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, where she captured four gold medals and one silver. She even set world records in the 400- and 800-metre, where Ledecky took almost two seconds off the record time as she finished over 11 seconds faster than her nearest competitor in the 800-metre final.
Katie Ledecky has even been in the waters of the University of Delaware pool! In 2013 and 2014 Ledecky participated in Delaware Swim Team’s First State Cup. Ledecky recognizes her Catholic upbringing with helping her form a “strong core.” She’s active with Catholic Charities, Wounded Warriors, and nonprofits such as Bikes for the World. As a recent graduate of Stanford University, Ledecky is also passionate about the importance of education, STEM and leadership programs for girls.
Breaking 14 World Records and 37 American Records, the world is excited to see her head to the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.