Coronavirus: Swim superstar Katie Ledecky admits it is 'hard' to plan for Tokyo Olympics

Oleh John Skilbeck 12 April 2020 3
Coronavirus: Swim superstar Katie Ledecky admits it is 'hard' to plan for Tokyo Olympics

Katie Ledecky is hitting her books at Stanford rather than worrying about the Tokyo Olympics - but she is missing the thrill of competition during the coronavirus crisis.

Four years ago in Rio, Ledecky was the most decorated female competitor at the Games with four gold medals and a silver in the swimming pool. United States team-mate Simone Biles grabbed four gold and a bronze in gymnastics.

Freestyle maestro Ledecky had hoped to go for the top podium step again in Japan this year, but the global health crisis put paid to that.

Now 23, Ledecky faces a further year's wait before she can challenge for more Olympic glory, and it is the uncertainty over when competition of any kind can begin that complicates the life of many a top athlete.

The US Olympic trials will take place in June 2021, so Ledecky at least has a sense of when she needs to find peak form.

"I'm happy to have something to be shooting for, but we have a lot of meets we want to have between now and then and we want to resume normal training," Ledecky said on Saturday.

"It's hard right now to plan things out but we're doing the best we can. We're taking it day by day and trying to win each day."

Speaking in a Yahoo Sports and Women's Sports Foundation call, Ledecky explained how studying had helped. She is majoring in psychology.

"I'm still a student at Stanford so i just started some spring quarter classes this past week," she said. "It's been really great to keep my mind active and do something productive during this time."

The daily routines Ledecky has had for so many years have gone out of the window.

"I haven't had access to normal training facilities. I'm not able to train in the weight room and with my trainer and my team-mates and all of those things," she said.

"I've just had to be adaptive to the circumstances and use the resources that I do have. All the athletes around the world have to take responsibility for their actions and really follow the guidelines.

"I'm hopeful my fellow Olympians around the world are all doing the same thing and we're all able to focus on what's important now which is staying inside and doing our part."

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John Skilbeck