WASHINGTON (AP) — Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky threw out the ceremonial first pitch Wednesday night before the Washington Nationals hosted the Baltimore Orioles.
Ledecky, who won four gold medals and one silver at the Rio Olympics, took off each and handed them to Bryce Harper before throwing the first pitch from just in front of the mound at Nationals Park. As the reigning National League MVP admired the medals, the Bethesda, Maryland, native tossed the ball to Washington reliever Shawn Kelley.
"I've swum in front of 14,000 people," Ledecky said of the pitch. "Once the ball leaves the hand, you can't really control it."
Ledecky has thrown out the first pitch at Nationals Park before. This time it came after a video tribute to the local Olympic hero, which included a clip of her world record-shattering victory in the 800-meter freestyle.
The 19-year-old met several Nationals before the game, including Harper, whom she called one of her favorites. They didn't give her any tips on the first pitch, which she said she practiced plenty Tuesday, but they were curious about her five medals.
"They all wanted to see how heavy they were and things like that," Ledecky said. "They are pretty heavy. It was kind of a different feeling for me to have them be a fan of me when I've been a huge fan of theirs for a couple years."
Ledecky will be a freshman at Stanford in the fall and plans to take some time off before starting school. Before she finds out who her roommate his, Ledecky's mind is already on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
"It'll probably be the longest break I'll take in the next four years," she said. "It's just nice to be out of the water a little bit and get recharged for the next four years."