To say U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky has had a pretty good couple of weeks in Rio would be an understatement.
The 19-year-oldcame home from the Rio Olympics with five medals four gold and one silver and gained the admiration of a country and the most decorated Olympian of all time in Michael Phelps.
With that kind of performance, most athletes would be preparing to cash in on their newfound popularity, but not Ledecky.
She isreportedly turning down an estimated $5 million a year in endorsement deals so that she can maintain her amateur status and compete for the Stanford University swim team.
In other words, she just wants to be a college kid.
“Ive always wanted to swim collegiately and have that experience,” she said, speaking on ESPN’s Mike and Mike Show. “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.”
Ledecky delayed her enrollment for a year to concentrate on the Olympics, and she’s going to be part of a pretty impressive swim team that will also include Olympic medalists Simone Manuel and Lia Neal.
“I know we have a really great team, and I am excited to get to Stanford and see what we can do,” Ledecky said.
So will passing up turning pro right now while the iron is hot be a huge mistake?
“Obviously, the challenge is maintaining high visibility during non-Olympic years,” said Olympic sports marketing expert Bob Dorfman. “But with her personality and likability, combined with the ever-growing influence of social media, the potential for longer-term deals is there.”
Shecould still have two or three more Olympics in her, so she’s not going to just fade away.
And even thoughher earning potential may never be higher than right now, she still just wants to be a college student.
After all, you’re only young once.
Via: Business Insider