Video courtesy USA Swimming Youtube.
This morning, Katie Ledecky stepped up to the plate for her pre-Olympic Trials press conference at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Ledecky comes into the Olympic-qualifying meet entered in all five freestyle events plus the 400 IM, leading many to question whether she will scratch the 400 IM and/or the 50 free. She says that she and her coach, Bruce Gemmell of Nation’s Capital, have yet to decide on the 400 IM, which swims Sunday.
“I have two days, so not too worried about it right now,” she said.
Ledecky also talked about her taper coming into the trials.
“Yeah, there was a little bit of taper… Everyone is rested here, everybody is going to swim fast, and you gotta be ready to go,” she said, adding “All the taper questions could go to my coach, Bruce. I just do whatever he writes on the board for practice.”
Ledecky and the moderator also discussed her expanded event schedule, which includes the sprint free events.
“We have been able to focus a little more on the shorter races this year, just not having to swim the mile this year, but, really– it’s not something where we sit down and say, okay, we’re really, really, really focusing on this race and not on this race,” she said. “It’s kind of all the same amount of focus on all the races. Obviously the 400 and the 800 are kind of my go to races and the races I really, really love, but I do also really like the 100 and the 200, and I want to do just as well in those.”
The discussion also covered topics ranging from the Zika virus and security concerns in Rio to doping in the sport.
Ledecky closed the press conference with warm words about Gemmell as a coach.
“I think it’s that he always keeps me really relaxed, we’re always laughing and having fun,” she said. “He’s pretty sarcastic and can bicker a few times, and it’s funny to watch him and Andrew, his son, whose also going to be here argue about things, and it’s just always fun on the pool deck with him, but at the same time he always keeps me very focused and I try to follow everything that he tells me to do before races, and sometimes he has to remind me a thousand times but it always pays off, and I’m just really happy I’ve had him as a coach these last four years and had a lot of fun along the way.”
You can find a full transcript of the press conference here.