Advertisement

Katie Ledecky Says It's 'Fun' to See Rival Swimmers Break Her World Records (Exclusive)

"If you're on Team USA, you want to bring home some medals," Katie Ledecky tells PEOPLE of her hopes if she makes the 2024 Olympic team in Paris.

<p>Gregory Shamus/Getty</p> Katie Ledecky after a race in Toronto in October 2022

Gregory Shamus/Getty

Katie Ledecky after a race in Toronto in October 2022

Swimming means more than world records and gold medals to Olympian Katie Ledecky.

In an interview with PEOPLE promoting her new partnership with th performance and lifestyle brand Athleta, Ledecky, 26, shares how she feels when her competitors from around the world beat her long-standing records.

"I love the competition. I love competing against the world's best," she says. "It's fun to race and I always look forward to those opportunities, so it's been fun to see what other people can do. We're always trying to set the bar higher and higher in the sport."

In July 2023, Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus set a new world record at the world championships in the 400-meter freestyle and took the gold medal, with Ledecky finishing second.

<p>Sarah Stier/Getty</p> Ledecky with a gold medal in July 2023

Sarah Stier/Getty

Ledecky with a gold medal in July 2023

Related: Swimmer Katie Ledecky Breaks Michael Phelps’ Record for World Titles with 16th Gold Medal

Then in February, 17-year-old Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh beat Ledecky in the 800-meter freestyle, becoming the first person to do so since 2010, NBC Sports reported.

But Ledecky told PEOPLE she has her eyes on the Paris Olympics in 2024 and rather than being focused on her winning streaks being broken, she's doing what has to be done to make it to the pool in Paris.

"I'm training hard. I'm in the pool 10 times a week. I'm in the weight room five times a week, just putting in the hours, trying to get better in training, and competing about once a month," she says about how she's preparing for the Olympic trials in June.

Paris would be Ledecky's fourth Games since she made her debut at the London Olympics in 2012 at age 15. She's since become Olympic champion at every swimming distance from 200 m to 1500 m, and has seven gold medals and 10 Olympic medals in total to go with her 21 World Championship gold medals.

<p>Courtesy Athleta</p> Katie Ledecky is now a member of Athleta's 'Power Of She' collective

Courtesy Athleta

Katie Ledecky is now a member of Athleta's 'Power Of She' collective

Related: Olympian Katie Ledecky Says 'Go for the Gold' After She's Named Best Female Athlete at 2022 ESPY Awards

As for what she'd like to accomplish once she makes it to Paris, Ledecky is hoping for a well-rounded experience.

"If you're on Team USA, you want to bring home some medals," she says. "For me, I've been building up and I want to produce some really great times, as well."

Ledecky is also looking forward to supporting her teammates and feeling that unique sense of Olympic camaraderie.

Although she's competed in many different countries and cities around the world, she says she's never been to Paris and is looking forward to "soak in a little bit" of the sights and sounds in the City of Love.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

<p>Courtesy Athleta</p> Katie Ledecky

Courtesy Athleta

Katie Ledecky

In continuing her 5-year partnership with Athleta and Power Of She Collective campaign, which was launched in 2023, Ledecky joins other female athletes like fellow Olympian Simone Biles in a mission to "empower women and girls to build confidence, strength and wellbeing through movement," per the campaign's press release.

As part of the campaign, Athleta is hoping to partner with organizations that help protect physical education and sports programs in schools.

"Athleta has been a brand that I've long admired for not just their great clothes, but really their commitment to women and girls and female athletes and doing a lot of great work in terms of supporting young girls, encouraging them to get into sports, be active," Ledecky says, adding that she's always looking for opportunities to give back and inspire young girls to find sports they love.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.