United States Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky has experienced numerous hardships during her training in preparation for the upcoming games in Tokyo. Still, she placed her struggles in context by comparing her struggles to those less fortunate than her, and used these difficulties as motivation to perform to the best of her ability:

“I think these past 14 months have been very motivating for all of us,” she said. “I don’t like to use the word ‘sacrifice’ because I feel very fortunate to do what I do, and don’t see any of it as a sacrifice, but I guess just the challenges that Paralympic athletes have gone through over the last 14 months, just the postponement of the games, the uncertainty with training, the uncertainty about the Olympics and Paralympics that we even continue to face, I think we all feel pretty good about it now, but just all the different challenges, all the different testing and all of the different things that we are doing to keep each other safe, and all that, I think it adds a little bit of an extra push to all of us because once we get there I think we really want to show the world all that great work that we’ve put in.”

One of the most hard-hitting complications of the COVID-19 pandemic has been Ledecky’s separation from her family. Once again, she has used this obstacle as a motivating force in her work.

“I haven’t seen my family in over a year, not one family member,” she said. “So, it is coming soon and I am really excited about that, but that’s something that I miss and I want to make this time that I’ve spent just doing my craft and training really, really hard and all that, I want to make that worth it.”

Continuing with her candid optimism, Ledecky emphasized that the seemingly daunting process of preparing for Olympic competition can actually be quite enjoyable and that this favorable outlook on grueling training sessions can serve as a critical foundation for success in the heat of competition.

“I think we are all really enjoying the process. You know, I think we’ve all been in it together, and I’ve always enjoyed the process. I really love training, and I don’t know, everyone always says they love racing more than they love training; I do really love racing, and I do love it more than training, but training is right up there with it. I really enjoy the day-to-day and just that challenge of trying to get better.”

Part of this success in training has been Ledecky’s consistency, which she has prided herself on while getting ready for Tokyo.

“I’ve kind of maintained that level of training that I got to before Rio over the past four-plus years now, and have tried to continue to improve, which is really fun.”

Undoubtedly, a vital facet to Ledecky’s ongoing success has been the support of her teammates, which she believes will be an edge in succeeding in Tokyo.

“You just see it as a process, and it makes the end result even more sweet if you enjoy the process on a day-to-day basis, and it doesn’t hurt to be able to do it with really great people … We have a lot of fun. We laugh, we talk, we commiserate together in tough sets.”

Read more about:
Chat With uSports On Facebook! Get latest news and interviews delivered directly to your Messenger!