Katie Ledecky Says LA 2028 Olympics Are ‘Definitely in the Picture’

Seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky said she simply loves swimming too much right now to imagine giving up the sport after the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“I can say pretty confidently that I’m not going to be done in 2024,” the 26-year-old Ledecky told reporters during a media session for the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. “I just don’t see myself hanging it up after next year. I just love the sport too much right now. I can’t wrap my head around being done next year.”

When reminded that the LA 2028 Olympics are exactly five years away — Ledecky will be 31 at the time — the greatest distance freestyler in history seemed optimistic about her odds of competing, but stopped short of a full commitment.

“I mean, L.A. is definitely in the picture,” Ledecky said. “I can’t fully commit to it at this point in 2023. But if I’m still loving it, if I feel like my body can do it. I think I would give it a shot. It’s amazing to have that opportunity to swim in the United States at an Olympics. It’s a rare opportunity, so something that I’m excited about. Whether I’m competing or not, I’ll definitely be there.”

Ledecky experienced her major international breakout at the London 2012 Olympics with gold in the 800 free and has since competed at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021 Games. If she makes the U.S. Olympic rosters for Paris 2024 and LA 2028, she would be just the third American swimmer to attend five Olympics following Michael Phelps and Dara Torres.

After winning her third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 800 free in Tokyo, Ledecky said she was “at least going to ’24, maybe ’28.” No swimmer has ever won the same event at five Olympics. She’s one of only four swimmers to win three Olympic titles in a row in the same event.

For now, Ledecky is focused on the 400-meter freestyle, 800 free, and 1500 free at her sixth World Championships next week. She’s aiming to become the first swimmer ever to win six world titles in one event in the 800 free.

Ledecky already owns 14 individual gold medals, 19 total gold medals, and 22 overall medals at Worlds, all of which are records in women’s swimming. In men’s and men’s swimming, her 19 golds are second only to Phelps.

Asked about the 400 free showdown against current world record holder Summer McIntosh and former world record holder Ariarne Titmus, Ledecky tipped her cap to her rivals.

“There are a lot of great competitors in that race — of course Summer and Ariarne have been incredibly fast over the last two years, and so I know they’ll be right there,” Ledecky said. “And I know there are a lot of other contenders as well.”

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7 months ago

Makes sense with a home Olympics. And I’d expect Michael Phelps to have the honour of lighting the flame at the opening ceremony/

7 months ago

A 5 peat, she could do that

Hawaiian Reeves
7 months ago

I think Katie is an eventual head of the IOC, should she want it. I can’t imagine giving up right before you can swim an Olympics at home. Even Phelps has said that if he ever comes out if returement, it will be for the LA Games. Unlock Lochte, Michael still hasn’t settled into a Dad bod. Michael may need to resurface just to shore up some of his medal counts.

7 months ago

Having an older competitor in any race is GREAT for the sport. I think if people have a problem with anyone continuing to take the spotlight, they should get over it…the others will have to work that much harder to get Gold. Having older swimmers shows younger ones that they don’t need to obey the status quo regarding the expiration date on a career. If you’re enjoying it, staying as fast, and in Ledecky’s case: making a living, then it’s pretty obvious as to what seems right. Not many people LOVE office jobs, anyway. And not everyone needs to be a nurse, an electrician, etc. Maybe they WANT to be a swimmer… Live and let live.

Last edited 7 months ago by swimfast
Reply to  swimfast
7 months ago

Ana Marcela Cunha

End of discussion.

Nada de Nada
Reply to  swimfast
7 months ago

Love your comment.

7 months ago
7 months ago

She has nothing to lose with staying around past Paris and seeing what happens with distance swimming over the following four years.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Dawn
7 months ago

What could happen? It will be more of the same. Slow times and no depth. Elite talent staying away, other than one superstar every few decades.

7 months ago

She’ll be 31 in 2028 – certainly not too old to continue on and be a contender, given the gap she currently has in the 800 and 1500. Wouldn’t put it past her to contend in 2032 as well, if she wants to.

Caeleb Remel Cultist
7 months ago

Loving the sport ? Lol 😂
Female distance swimming has always been very weak, no depth whatsoever. So of course she is enjoying it…

Wait until Katie Grimes starts tapering, and then she will smash her in the 800 and 1500 in the near future.

Reply to  Caeleb Remel Cultist
7 months ago

Interesting thing is that with such huge dominance you nevertheless cannot say beamonesque of any of her outstanding results. It kind of doesn’t fit. But her entire career is. She is a professional and she will swim as long as she makes living with swimming. And making living in sport means entertaining spectators. And Katie does it. And l am pretty sure we will have this pleasure of seeing her in Los Angeles. Will she still dominate there? It really doesn’t matter to me.

Reply to  Caeleb Remel Cultist
7 months ago
Reply to  Caeleb Remel Cultist
7 months ago

Fiercest ratio I’ve seen in ages here

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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