Katie Ledecky to Receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom!

By Reach for the Wall Staff;
Lead photo courtesy Marcus Chen

Today (5/3/2024), The White House has announced that Katie Ledecky will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The award will be presented by President Biden at 4:30 this afternoon. A livestream is expected to be available at that time. Per The White House press release, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.” Katie is one of 19 recipients this year with the following synopsis as justification for the award (White House Press Release):

Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky
Katie Ledecky is the most decorated female swimmer in history. An athletic prodigy, she has won seven Olympic gold medals and twenty-one world championship gold medals so far. She will continue to compete for the Nation who watches her in awe.

Back in June 2022, John Feinstein wrote in the Washington Post “The debate about Washington’s greatest athlete is over: It’s Katie Ledecky” We agree! John was able to provide a keen perspective on the sport of Swimming and why her feats are so incredible:

“Swimming is a burnout sport, perhaps tougher mentally than any other because of the hours required in the pool and the physical and mental pounding a great swimmer must take to stay at the top. Ledecky is 25 now — and improving. She is a college graduate — Stanford — and still trying to get better as she points toward what would be her fourth Olympics, Paris in 2024.”
Further: “She should be enjoyed by all of us while she’s still enjoying herself in the pool. Her ability to continue to do that may be her greatest achievement.”

The weeks ahead for Katie are exciting, starting with this award today, the release of her 1st book (June 11th): “Just Add Water” as well as Olympic Trials (June 15-23) where she will vie for her 4th Olympic team to add to her already unmatched legacy. We will enjoy watching this all unfold into the Paris games- Thank You Katie!!

Link to pre-order Katie’s book: https://bit.ly/justaddwaterbook

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