Team Panasonic: Katie Ledecky
A Champion. For Progress.
You might be surprised to learn that, for Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, swimming didn’t come first for her growing up – education did.
Katie has always applied similar levels of dedication to both her athletic and academic pursuits. When the pandemic hit in 2020 and the Olympic Games were postponed, she made the best of her time by focusing on her studies, completing her bachelor of arts in psychology at Stanford University in June 2021. All this while training for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where she earned two gold and two silver medals.
Katie's dedication and hard work have kept her fighting spirit sharp – a spirit that makes her a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the pool.
A champion's focus
Katie studies psychology, not statistics, yet she knows that the odds of any athlete arriving and thriving at the Olympic level are incredibly small. She also knows that it is not luck that brought her to the Olympic Games – it is pure, unstoppable determination. She believes that every moment in life, the wins and the losses, result from the work you put in, whether that's the early-morning practice or the late-night homework. Believe in yourself, but log the reps just to be sure.
In Tokyo, Katie added two golds and two silvers to her collection of ten Olympic medals. This achievement, combined with the fact that she's broken 14 world records, makes her the most successful female swimmer in history. And she’s not content to rest on her laurels – she plans to bring her same energy and determination to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“I’m just as motivated as I was when I first made it to the Olympics.” – Katie Ledecky
A champion for education
Katie has already begun her next challenge: helping to inspire a new generation of young people in the classroom. Most recently, she launched her new “STEM Forward with Katie Ledecky and Panasonic" program, a digital learning curriculum for elementary and middle school students. Panasonic and Katie chose to work with Discovery Education, the worldwide EdTech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platforms will help bring the program to life through its dedicated Discovery Educator Community, reaching more than 140 countries and territories, 4.5 million educators and 45 million students around the world.
“Any opportunity I have in life to inspire young kids to pursue their passions, I’m going to take it.” – Katie Ledecky
For many of these students, this might be their first opportunity to explore STEM firsthand and interact with these concepts. Katie’s goal is to inspire kids by providing them insight into STEM, giving them the chance to pursue their passions if they have interest in this area.
“Whether they use the skills in a career or just learn them for life, it’s very important that they have access to them to help propel them forward.” – Katie Ledecky