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Is Katie Ledecky Retiring After the 2024 Olympics? Here's What the Olympic Swimmer Says...

The Olympic swimmer won her first gold medal when she was only 15 years old.

By Cydney Contreras

Katie Ledecky is keeping her eyes on the prize.

The 27-year-old swimmer has won seven gold and three silver medals since making her Olympics debut at the 2012 London Games when she was only 15 years old. Now, 12 years later, Ledecky is hoping to increase her medal count at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

If Ledecky indeed qualifies for Team USA at the upcoming Olympic trials, taking place at the Lucas Oil Stadium in June, then this will be her fourth time representing the United States in the Olympic Games. She's competed at the 2012 London Games, the 2016 Games in Rio, and the 2020 Tokyo Games.

And while the Paris Olympics have yet to kick off, people are already speculating about Ledecky's future as a professional athlete, especially with the Olympics set to return stateside in 2028. 

RELATED: Everything to Know About the 2024 Olympics Opening Ceremony in Paris

Katie Ledecky smiles after winning a race

When is Katie Ledecky retiring?

Ledecky is focused on qualifying for the Summer Games in Paris, so for now she has no plans to hang up her swimsuit.

"I take things year by year, but right now, I definitely could see myself competing in 2028, with it being a home Olympics. It's something that's very unique. It's something that not every Olympic athlete gets. And so I definitely know I'm not retiring after this summer and 2028 is very appealing," she explained to NPR.

Aware that L.A. 2028 is still four years away, Ledecky said she wants to compete in "at least one event" when the time comes. 

"But again, plans can change. It's a long ways away, my focus is solely on this summer in Paris at this moment," she conceded.

Ledecky beat Michael Phelps' World Championship title record

Katie Ledecky holds up her two Gold and two Silver medals

If she does retire from competition after her fifth Olympic Games in 2028, she'll be in good company. Gold-medalist Michael Phelps retired after competing in five Olympic Games at the age of 31 — the same age Ledecky will be in 2028. 

The major difference between Ledecky and Phelps is that the female swimmer has already surpassed Phelps' record for most individual swimming World Championship titles. She broke his record of 15 individual world swimming titles in 2023.

"Michael [Phelps] is someone that I’ve known for a long time now and to break that record was cool. I didn’t really know that I was going to achieve it until a lot of people started telling me that that was a possibility,” Ledecky told CNN at the time.

In the meantime, Ledecky is preparing for the Olympic Trials, airing on the USA Network on Saturday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. ET. Qualifying heats will air live on Peacock with same day delayed coverage each day on USA Network. Coverage of every final will air live on NBC and Peacock each night beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

Be sure to watch live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26, on NBC and Peacock beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Primetime coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Peacock.

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