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#pounditSunday, October 1, 2023

Katie Ledecky turning down $5 million per year to go to school


At 19 years old, Katie Ledecky has an opportunity most people can only dream of. Believe it or not, she’s turning it down.

For now.

Ledecky dominated the Summer Olympics in Rio by winning four gold medals. She became a household name in the process, which has led to a number of endorsement offers. Ledecky could be earning up to $5 million annually in endorsements, but she has instead chosen to enroll at Stanford and compete at the amateur level. In an interview with ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” this week, she said the decision was not all that difficult.

“No, it wasn’t,” Ledecky said, as transcribed by Cork Gaines of Business Insider. “I’ve always wanted to swim collegiately and have that experience. I think it is going to be a lot of fun to be on a team with some really great friends and great swimmers and also just go to class with them.”

Fellow Olympians Simone Manuel and Lia Neal will also be on Ledecky’s team at Stanford, so they should find plenty of success.

“I know we have a really great team, and I am excited to get to Stanford and see what we can do,” Ledecky said.

Before the Rio Olympics, sports marketing expert Bob Dorfman told ESPN’s Philip Hersh that Ledecky should be able to earn $5 million per year in endorsements if she swam the way many expected her to. Ledecky won four gold medals and a silver.

As long as she continues to compete at a high level, Ledecky will have plenty of opportunities to earn endorsement revenue. If she can also get a degree from Stanford and enjoy moments like this in the meantime, more power to her.


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