Team USA’s Katie Ledecky on Her Favorite California Swim Spots

Plus where the seven-time Olympic gold medalist will go on vacation after Paris 2024

Photograph courtesy of RALPH LAUREN


Where do you live?
I primarily live in Gainesville, Florida, now. It’s where I train, so it’s also where I spend the most time. I lived in California for five years while I went to Stanford University.

Where do you feel most zen?
I feel calmest when I am in the pool. It’s a place where I get to be with my teammates while also focusing on my goals. I love the feeling of being in the water.

Favorite swim spot?
Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford. It’s where I trained while studying there, so I have lots of great memories.

Favorite relaxing getaway?
Coronado, California. My family vacationed there when I was younger. And the sunsets are unforgettable.

Favorite drive?
I love driving across the Golden Gate Bridge because it’s scenic from both directions: You get stunning views of the San Francisco Bay or the mountains in Marin. It’s exhilarating to drive across such an iconic landmark.

Favorite health food fix?
I love all kinds of berries!

Where do you take visiting friends?
In California, I would take them to the farmers’ market in Menlo Park or the Filoli Historic House & Garden in Woodside.

Favorite post-swim skincare?
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream and Aquaphor, both of which help heal skin that’s dry because of exposure to chlorine.

Favorite post-swim hair products?
Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner. It smells so good.

Favorite home items?
I love everything Ralph Lauren Home, and the RL Home Bedding is my favorite. The sheets are so soft and comfortable, and it feels luxurious getting into bed after a long day.

What book are you reading?
My own, as I am narrating the audiobook of Just Add Water, which Simon & Schuster is scheduled to publish this summer.

Favorite music to help you relax?
Let It Be by the Beatles and Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. It’s music I was around a lot growing up, and I loved playing my favorite tunes on the piano, so it feels like home.

Favorite podcast?
Of course my favorite podcast is going to be all about sports. I love Laughter Permitted With Julie Foudy. It is funny and has thoughtful and candid conversations with athletes and other interesting personalities.

Where will you vacation after Paris 2024?
I am looking forward to visiting relatives in New York, North Dakota, Montana, and Utah.

Ralph Lauren is a proud outfitter of Team USA at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


This story originally appeared in the Summer 2024 issue of C Magazine.

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