Katie Ledecky - A champion in the pool and in life
From grass roots to gold medals, Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky has earned her way through the swimming ranks by being true to herself in, and out of the pool.
The Washington Post takes an in-depth look at 17 year old Katie Ledecky, her past and her future.
Not all champions wear gold medals
The USA Swimming Foundation is committed to supporting our U.S. National Swim Team athletes and coaches by providing them with funding that is critical to their pursuit of athletic success.
We also believe that not all champions wear gold medals. The sport of swimming provides its participants with the tools needed to become a champion in life—whether that means using your time management skills to complete an important school assignment, or using your leadership and collaboration skills to lead a Fortune 500 company.
At first glance, six-time Olympic medalist and 2012 U.S. Olympic Swim Team co-captain, Brendan Hansen, and Tom Colicchio, head judge on the hit show Top Chef, don't seem to have much in common. But did you know that Tom was a competitive swimmer as a child, just like Brendan?
Meet Tom and Brendan in the following video — two real life champions who share their stories of dreams, hard work and the pursuit of excellence, in the pool and in life.
Inspiring young swimmers to become champions in life
Summer 2012: We watched with pride as 49 athletes traveled to London to represent our country as part of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. We saw world records shattered and we watched as some of our most talented swimmers ended their Olympic swimming careers, forever leaving a legacy on our sport. And we cheered as a new generation of fresh-faced swim stars burst onto the stage, becoming role models for young swimmers across the country.
This incredible group of swimmers represented the many faces of USA Swimming's members. They represented the hopes and dreams of age-group swimmers from across the nation. They represented generations of swimmers who have built the United States into the #1 swimming nation in the world for more than 50 years. They represented YOU!
We are extremely proud of our athletes. But more importantly, we are proud of the way our top athletes are inspiring young swimmers across the country to become champions—in the pool and in life.
Currently, more than 360,000 USA Swimming member children are swimming competitively across the country. Most will never dive off the block at an international competition, or hold hand over heart while singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" atop an Olympic podium.
Why should you care?
Because these children will receive something more important than walking onto a pool deck to the roaring cheers of tens of thousands of fans: they will learn the lifelong skills of personal responsibility, time management, perseverance, dedication, and the resilience that extends past the boundaries of the pool deck and into the home, classroom, and office. Children who swim are more likely to be healthy, have positive self-esteem, and make friends. They are apt to excel in school, at work, and in life.
Together, and with your support, we can build champions, by giving our children the opportunity to fulfill a dream never thought possible and provide them with the tools to excel in life, in and out of the pool.