Katie Ledecky

1 Aug

” Ledecky seemed to swim from nowhere to win a gold at the London Olympicsfour years ago, and her trail of gold medals and broken world records since is like nothing seen before. Even though you might search for that one special thing—as everyone surely will if she takes as many medals in Rio as anticipated (and breaks some more world records)—Ledecky’s trick will likely remain elusive. Her coach, Bruce Gemmell, first met her at the 2012 Olympics; his son, Andrew, was on the 2012 Olympic team and now trains with Ledecky. “Her strength is not in any physical attribute,” says Gemmell. “It’s not even in any particular technique. It’s in her overwhelming desire to do what she needs to do to get better.” Sure, she does the little things, makes the technical changes—working hard on her tempo and her stroke count, along with adjusting her kick—and she does her share of training in the gym and meets with a nutritionist to supplement her Ize’s habit. “As far as I’m concerned, the bigger story is that she’s a better person than she is a swimmer,” Gemmell continues. “We all know she’s a pretty good swimmer, but she’s just a better person.”

What is most evident at swim meets, in fact, is exactly what is not happening, Ledecky’s Zen-like way of avoiding stress. She is not about to be so rude as to ignore the question that is asked of her over and over, but in her off time—in the car on the way home from morning practice, anyway—Ledecky seems perplexed. “People always ask, ‘Don’t you feel the pressure?’ ” She shakes her head and rolls her eyes, long-limbed and friendly in person, with nut-brown hair and a wide smile. “And I really don’t feel it. I’ve just always set goals. When I was a kid, I would write them down, and I would work toward them, and that’s still pretty much what I do. In 2013, I sat down with my coach, and my goals are set through 2016, though since then a few things have been added.”

― Robert Sullivan, What’s Katie Ledecky’s Secret?, Vogue, March 31, 2016

Source: http://www.vogue.com/13419701/katie-ledecky-freestyle-swimmer-olympics-2016-rio-de-janeiro-team-usa/

I recently read this wonderful Vogue feature on champion swimmer Katie Ledecky. I was inspired. I am inspired by athletes, teachers and young people who are focused towards their goals. Some times feel older people are too opinionated. The work ethic, ability to overcome pressures and single mindedness towards a higher ideal inspires me.  The writer, Robert sullivan writes “she comes out of her house it is dark, as in very dark, as in 4:25 in the morning. Naturally, conversation at this hour is limited: The swimmer is under the hood of her parka and savoring those last few moments before the 5:00 a.m. plunge..”  and ” In 2014, she tells me, achieving her world-record-setting mile speed was not only not easy but painful—she drove herself very hard to win. “That hurt,” she says. She kept pushing herself, though. “Now my speed from 2014 becomes my easy speed.”…

Think about that.

More ” This is the extent of her secret weaponry: a devotion to practice, to superhuman goals achieved with a low-key, family-supported routine, one that involves watching CNN after dinner and maybe a little on-demand SNL while doing all the big reading for school on the weekend, so she can get to bed by nine-thirty…”

It inspires me. The dedication, family support, desire to win and excel…

I hope all young children find their calling as early as Katie Ledecky. That would be a great stroke of blessing. Even if they don’t find it as early, whenever they find, they can pursue it with single minded zeal and higher objective, it may be sports, music, academics, teaching, art,corporate job….anything.

The young champion Katie Ledecky inspires me. I am sure Rio 2016 will see many more accomplishments. I hope you like this vogue piece too.

We should stop bothering about the world thinks and try to be the best we can be…

Have a good day dear friends!

Love, Suresh


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