“It's Pretty Hard to Keep Me Away From the Pool”: Katie Ledecky Talks About Her Path to the 2016 Olympics

Sure, she's an 18-year-old with three world records and five gold medals from the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia. But there's a lot more to Washington's prized swimmer Katie Ledecky.

She's also a recent high school grad with a strong network of family and friends... and she's still waiting on her driver's license.

And Ledecky can't wait to dive into the pool day after day.

She says she knows what she's capable of.

"I knew I could swim like that, and I knew I had that in me, so I wanted to leave it all in the pool and see what I could do," she told News4's Angie Goff on the Today Show.

Like most kids, Ledecky found a role model in her older brother. He was the one who inspired her to take that first dive.

"My brother, he was the one that dragged me into swimming," Ledecky said. "I was following him every day to the pool and I always looked up to him when I was growing up."


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Having just finished the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, Ledecky says she's constantly motivated to meet her goals.

"I sat down with my coach and set the goals through 2016, and believe it or not I haven't met those goals yet and I'm chipping away at those every day and I'm just really excited about this next year," she said.

Known for breaking her own records, coined the Ledecky Slam, she's unafraid of the future.

"I think the biggest thing is I'm not afraid to fail and I am excited to find new ways to improve every day," she said.

Ledecky is hoping to make it to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Brazil, but doesn't feel the pressure to get there.

"I want to get to training and get in there and work hard, and that's my number one focus every day," she said.

She recently graduated from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Washington D.C.

"I'll always be a Stone Ridge Gator," she said.

While her classmates start college in the fall, Ledecky will continue to train while taking classes at Georgetown University. She'll catch up with her friends next fall, when she attends Stanford University on an athletic scholarship.

Aside from her accomplishments, she's like most teens: dedicated to her studies, surrounded by great friends, but she is missing her out on her driver's license. She hasn't had time to get it due to all her training.

"I'm still working on that," she said as she laughed with Goff. "That's towards the top of the list right now."

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