With seven Olympic gold medals, 21 world championship titles, multiple world records and a track record of near-invincibility in her strongest events, Katie Ledecky is already considered by many to be the greatest female swimmer of all time. Since bursting onto the scene with her first Olympic gold-medal performance as a 15-year-old in London, Ledecky has gone on to star in the pool at the Rio and Tokyo Games, and is primed for another standout performance in Paris.

Get to know a little more about the Olympic legend ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Where is Katie Ledecky from?

Katie Ledecky was born in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. and raised in nearby Bethesda, Maryland. She attended and graduated high school at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, and swam for the Nation's Capital Swim Club, which has also produced Olympic gold medalists Mike Barrowman, Tom Dolan, Mark Henderson, Ed Moses, and Andrew Wilson, as well as Paralympic gold medalist Becca Meyers.

How old is Katie Ledecky?

Katie Ledecky was born on March 17, 1997 and is 27 years old. When she debuted at the London Olympics as a 15-year-old, she was the youngest athlete on the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team.

How tall is Katie Ledecky?

Katie Ledecky is listed at 6-feet by USA Swimming.

Where did Katie Ledecky go to college?

Shortly after winning four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Katie Ledecky enrolled at Stanford University near Palo Alto, California. While there, she forged one of the greatest NCAA swimming careers ever, winning eight individual NCAA championships and helping lead coach Greg Meehan's Stanford Cardinal women's swimming team to NCAA championships in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, she became the first freshman in 35 years to win the Honda Cup Award, which recognizes the top female collegiate athlete of the year.

Following her sophomore season, Ledecky left the Cardinal swim team and turned professional, though she continued to take classes at Stanford and graduated in the fall of 2020 with a major in psychology and a minor in political science.

At recent competitions, Ledecky is frequently seen donning a swim cap with the University of Florida Gators logo. That's because in 2021 she relocated to Gainesville, Florida to train with Gators head coach Anthony Nesty and now represents Gator Swim Club in competition. 

Who are Katie Ledecky's parents?

Katie Ledecky's parents are Mary Gen and David Ledecky. Her mother was a collegiate swimmer for the University of New Mexico, then later became an administrator at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Her father is an attorney with degrees from Harvard University and Yale Law School.

When did Katie Ledecky start swimming?

Katie Ledecky began swimming at age six, inspired by her mother who swam collegiately. She also followed in the footsteps of her older brother, Michael, who swam collegiately at Harvard.

Is Katie Ledecky related to Jon Ledecky?

Businessman and co-owner of the NHL's New York Islanders, Jon Ledecky, is Katie Ledecky's paternal uncle. As a result, she is an outspoken Islanders fan.

Other facts about Katie Ledecky

  • In May, Katie Ledecky received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Joe Biden. She became the second-youngest athlete to win the nation's highest civilian honor, after Simone Biles.
  • Katie Ledecky holds the record for most career individual swimming world championship titles with 16, surpassing Michael Phelps 
  • Katie Ledecky took piano lessons growing up, and still enjoys playing while away from the pool
  • Katie Ledecky serves as a volunteer assistant swimming coach on Anthony Nesty's University of Florida staff