Katie Ledecky turns pro: Olympic swimmer leaves Stanford 2 years early

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Katie Ledecky’s spectacular swimming career at Stanford is over.

The five-time Olympic champion announced Monday she will forgo her final two years of eligibility and pursue professional opportunities while continuing her training and classes at Stanford.

The sophomore was expected to leave college swimming at some point to train for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She also had given up potentially significant endorsement and sponsorship deals by competing as an amateur the past two years and leading the Cardinal to back-to-back NCAA championships. Last year’s title was the program’s first in 19 years.

Ledecky made it clear she treasured the camaraderie of the Stanford team and her general college experience.

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to train and swim collegiately for two years alongside some of the greatest women swimmers of this generation — swimmers who are not just great athletes, but great people as well,” Ledecky said in a statement released by the school.

Read SFGate

Photo by jdlasica

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