Katie Ledecky’s Stanford Olympic Training Camp Is the Secret Sauce

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.comOlympic and World Champion distance swimming icon Katie Ledecky has the secret sauce, and it’s in the details of Stanford’s Olympic training camp. What I find most interesting is that during the pandemic Ledecky trained with teammate Simone Manuel,  and often it was only the two of them, mano a mano. Image that. Team USA’s most celebrated distance star and sprint star training eye-to-eye.  I think we’re going to see Ledecky swim well in the shorter events, 100 free and certainly 200 free. Ledecky has already dropped a 1:54 200m free in-season. And I think Simone’s 200 free will be very strong, netting her a spot on the U.S. Women’s Olympic 4×200 free relay.


Yes. I’m playing again, because Ledecky made me look like a wimp in version 1. I was off. My last Trials prediction were:

1:54.5 – 200 free
3:59.1 – 400 free
8:09 – 800 free
15:29 – 1500 free
AND – I said she’s not likely to swim 100 free.


1:53.6 – 200 free
3:58.1 – 400 free
8:08 – 800 free
15:27 – 1500 free
And she swims 100 free in the prelims dropping a 53.7.

But who cares what I think?  I want to know what you think? Give me your best expert swimming analysis.

Follow Katie Ledecky on Instagram here.



This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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1 year ago

I think all the predictions are reasonable if not slightly aggressive.
Sadly Ledecky is far from peak shape in Tokyo.
Back to the prediction drawing board.

Last edited 1 year ago by TFDM
Tea rex
1 year ago

Manuel’s my sleeper for 2nd 200 free slot. Some of that pace work has to rub off on her. She was 156.0 in 2019, when there wasn’t even a qualifying meet

1 year ago

With manuel’s front end speed and training with Katie ledecky I have a feeling she’s gonna go 1:54.8 and be on the heals of ledecky. Thats the benefit of training with the best 200-400-800-1500 swimming in the world, and same with ledecky I have a feeling she gonna go 53.2 in the 100 training with Manuel

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

So far Manuel’s personal best was 1:56.06 shown almost two years ago. And yes, she competed against Ledecky in 200 SCY. But it looks that these extra 20 meters of 200 LCM and what is most important 4 extra walls of SCY make a huge difference.
To be a contender in the range 50-100-200 at the current level of competition in women swimming is a very rare feat. I know only one swimmer with such abilities. Sarah Sjostrom. But Manuel has beaten Sjostrom twice when it seemed to be impossible. Why not to do the same with this unique ability.
Anyway I will be very pleased to see Manuel and McLaughlin 1:55mid/low in Tokyo.
But so little… Read more »

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

The last 2 world championship years I always was beating against Manuel I didn’t expect her to win back to back gold’s in the 100 which was amazing… Now as far as her 200 she is very well capable of getting down to 1:54.9 she went faster than ledecky in the at the 100 at the olympic trials but faded to 7th.. at the olympic games McKeon went out faster than sjorstrom and ledecky but manage to hang on for bronze with a 154…Manuel is faster than McKeon in the 50 and the 100 it’s very plausible that she can put up a very good 200 at the same level as McKeon

Last edited 1 year ago by Swimfan
Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

Sorry for the delay with response. McKeon was 1:54.92 in final. I don’t think it will be even close for the third place in Tokyo and I would rather don’t speculate now about Manuel’s chances in individual event having practically zero information about her competitive conditions this season. But I agree with your arguments when comparing her to McKeon. In this scenario Americans may have advantage in competition between leaders of 4×200 relay:
(Ledecky, Manuel) vs (Titmus, McKeon).
Having much deeper field in 200FR American may complete the team with better swimmers than Australians.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

There is little chance that USA beats Australia in the 4×200 though.

Reply to  Samesame
1 year ago

There Is little chance that ledecky beats titmus in the 800 free as well

Norm Van Wieren
1 year ago

Great video Mel. Either way no matter what event you look at she’s going to be well prepared and in deadly shape. I look forward to more of your videos, and the racing in July.

1 year ago

It would be very interesting to know if Ledecky maintains working relationship with Bruce Gemmel and if Greg Meehan discusses with him some aspects of Ledeccky’s preparation for OG.
Bruce did a wonderful job and he really cared about his famous student and not only because of the fame that comes with that. I have never seen before coaches in tears.
Surprisingly Ledecky doesn’t speak much about her coaches and their contributions to her success.

1 year ago

As other readers before me, I think you underestimate her time on the 100 (I put her at around 53.5) but I do not think she will show her other cards during Trials, so for the other races I’ll go with your first predictions.

1 year ago

It’s a no brainer to leave her off the women’s 4 x100 meter freestyle relay:

Personal Best Times
Manuel – 52.04
Comerford – 52.59
Weitzeil – 53.18
Brown – 53.42
Huske – 53.46
Walsh – 53.74

Ledecky – 53.75 (15 Jan 2016)

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

Ledecky split 53.83 (23 Jul 2017) in the women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships. Ledecky of 2021 is not Ledecky from 2016.

2021 TYR Pro Swim Series
54.22 – April
54.74 – March

Weitzeil (53.68) absolutely smoked Ledecky (54.22) at the 2021 TYR Pro Swim – Mission Viejo.

1 year ago

She is going to be amazing to watch at the games….

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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