The most dominant distance swimmer of her generation serves meals to the homeless once a month.
Maryland teenager Katie Ledecky also collects, assembles and repairs bicycles for developing countries instead of attending classes every other week during the school year.
The Stanford-bound swim star volunteers with the Wounded Warrior Project at the Walter Reed Bethesda Naval Medical Center and is a member of Help2 0, a group that raises awareness and money to benefit the construction of water wells in developing countries.
Ledecky and Cal sophomore Missy Franklin — the young faces of American swimming — are competing at the Phillips 66 U.S. championships Wednesday through Sunday in Irvine.
Ledecky, 17, isn’t just another dedicated swimmer churning through chlorinated pools mornings and evenings. She describes herself as a devout Catholic who embraces the religion’s call to service.
“My faith has always been important to me,” Ledecky said in a recent interview. “It defines who I am.”
Most know her as an Olympic gold medalist, world-record holder and four-time world champion.