Five-time Olympic gold medal winner Katie Ledecky revealed what she learned while finishing her degree at Stanford and preparing for the Olympics during the pandemic.

The 24-year-old finished her psychology degree and minor in political science last fall, taking a full load of classes through the spring, summer and fall.

“I took some really interesting classes in the spring,” she said, “which was right at the beginning of the pandemic. I took a class called Global Change and Emerging Infectious Disease, and that class was scheduled before the pandemic really broke out, and so they really adapted the class to focus on coronavirus.”

“We had some of the experts in the country on the call,” she added.

Ledecky shared that even though she went pro in 2018, two years into her time at Stanford, she was still able to train with the collegiate team and “a handful of professional swimmers who swam for Stanford.”

“It’s just a great team to be a part of, and I feel very fortunate to have had the best of both worlds really, to be able to compete for a college and really get that experience of having those friends, having those teammates. I have friends for life,” she gushed.

“I’ve learned a lot both as a swimmer and a student, and just a citizen I guess. You know, I’ve been around some amazing people both academically and athletically.”

“Of course, athletically you know the great success that Stanford has had, and it’s been really fun to be around those kinds of people, people that are really motivated to be the very best at whatever sport they compete in,” she said, pointing out the women’s basketball team’s NCAA championship win earlier this year.

“[Women’s basketball] coach Tara VanDerveer is very dedicated lap swimmer, so we see her on a regular basis at the pool, and that’s a lot of fun,” Ledecky said, smiling.

“It’s just fun to cheer each other on and have that extra support system, that extra community. Again, it’s just another thing I’ve added to my toolbox headed into Tokyo that I haven’t had in past Olympic cycles,” she said.

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