Olympic gold medalist Ledecky (USA) says that Catholic faith is central to her identity.

“My Catholic faith is very important to me. It always has been and it always will be. It is part of who I am and I feel comfortable practicing my faith. It helps me put things in perspective,” Ledecky told the Catholic Standard in a recent interview.

She also confirmed that she says a “Hail Mary” before each event.

“I do say a prayer – or two – before any race. The Hail Mary is a beautiful prayer and I find that it calms me,” she told the Catholic Standard.