Simon & Schuster to Publish JUST ADD WATER By Legendary Athlete Katie Ledecky

NEW YORK, March 7, 2024—Simon & Schuster announced today that it will publish Just Add Water, a memoir by Katie Ledecky on June 11, 2024, just before the Olympic trials. Ledecky is one of the best swimmers ever to compete. She has won more individual Olympic races than any female swimmer in history. A three-time Olympian, a 7-time Gold Medalist, a 21-time World Champion, 8-time NCAA Champion, and world record-holder in individual swimming events, Ledecky shares what it takes to compete at an elite level.

Again and again, Katie Ledecky has broken records: both the records of others and, increasingly, her own. She is both consistent and innovative—consistent at setting goals and shattering them, and innovative in the way she approaches her training. In true competitor form, she sets her goals by choosing the ones that feel the scariest. But, crucially, she never sacrifices the joy of competition, even in the face of adversity. Her positive mental outlook and a great support system provides the springboard to her success.

This candid and inspiring memoir charts Ledecky’s life in swimming. It details her start in Bethesda, Maryland, where she played sharks and minnows and first discovered the joy of the pool; her early foray into the Olympics at the tender age of fifteen where, as the youngest member of the American team, she stunned everyone by winning her first gold medal; her time balancing competition and her education at Stanford University; how she developed a champion’s mindset that has allowed her to persevere through so many meets, even under intense pressure; and how she has maintained her dominance in a sport where success depends on milliseconds. You learn how every element of her life—from the support of her family to the tutelage of her coaches, from her childhood spent in summer league swimming to the bright lights of Olympic pools in London, Rio, and Tokyo—set her up to become the champion she is.

“I never imagined I would make it to the Olympics, or be at this level, or write a book about this unlikely career that I’ve had. I first started keeping a journal when I was 14 years old, to document my training in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics. Paging through them last year, I realized these journals included elements of my wider story in swimming. I also wanted to be able to show that I wouldn’t be where I am without the love, support, and encouragement of people who have influenced me. I’ve really enjoyed the ride, this journey, and I hope readers will, too.”

Jonathan Karp, President and Chief Executive Officer at Simon & Schuster, adds, “Katie Ledecky will be regarded as one of the greatest swimmers of all time. This book explains why.”

As readers will see, Katie’s story is about testing yourself against the difficult, and seeing who you become on the other side.                                                                                                                                          

Jonathan Karp acquired world, first serial rights, and audio rights, with the author narrating, from Robert B. Barnett of Williams & Connolly. Emily Simonson edited the book.  


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Julia Prosser
Vice President, Associate Publisher, Simon & Schuster