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Five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky turns pro, eyes Tokyo '20

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Should Ledecky be leaving Stanford to go pro? (0:48)

Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornhesier react to Katie Ledecky's decision to forego her last two years of eligibility at Stanford and turn professional in competitive swimming. (0:48)

Five-time Olympic gold medalist and Stanford swimmer Katie Ledecky is turning pro, forgoing her final two years of college eligibility to pursue professional opportunities and focus on the Toyko Games in 2020.

Ledecky made the announcement Monday at a National Press Club luncheon.

"I feel like now is the right time for me to be making this transition and starting this next chapter," Ledecky told The Washington Post.

Ledecky, 21, led Stanford to two consecutive NCAA titles and says she will continue to take classes at the university. Ledecky says she plans to continue training at Stanford and train under the Cardinal's head coach, Greg Meehan.

Ledecky has won eight NCAA titles. While competing at Stanford, she broke American records 11 times and NCAA records 15 times.

Ledecky won her first Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games in London. She won five medals -- four gold and one silver -- in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro.

"I feel like having two years in this stage will prepare me in the best way for 2020," Ledecky said.