To begin with, former swimmer Hanae Ito asked some questions to Katie regarding the postponement of the Olympic Games and about the importance of STEAM education.
Ms. Ito : It was very impressive when you said at last year's event, "I really hope that I'll be there in Japan next year for the Olympic Games." How do you feel now after actually participating in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 after a one year postponement?
Katie : It felt wonderful, and as I said, it was wonderful to be here in Tokyo. Of course, it was hard to be training for another extra year, but I'm so glad that we were all able to come together and be able to compete here on the highest stage.
Ms. Ito : I believe that many athletes, including Katie yourself, had a difficult time practicing over the past year. Why do you think you were able to overcome such difficulties to achieve great success at this Olympic Games?
Katie : It required a little bit of extra and different work, because some of the training facilities were shut down for a couple months. We had to be creative with our training and do everything that we could to make it as similar as possible to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. And I feel like I and a lot of athletes did a really good job of that and we all showed great resilience by getting through that and by performing here at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 at such a high level.
Ms. Ito : You have been very active in promoting STEAM programs, and also participated in last year's STEAM event with Panasonic. Why do you think that education, especially STEAM, is important in the sports field or, to be more abstract, in daily lives?
Katie : I think education is very important and is a building block for life. I'm very passionate talking about STEAM education because these subjects are especially crucial as many jobs are reliant on those skills. And I believe that technology and sports have a lot to do with each other, such as in swimming, to learn about how we're swimming and moving through the water. We use video review, math and statistics to try to get that extra edge because it could be a second or even tenth of a second or hundredth of a second, that's the difference between a gold medal and a silver medal or a bronze medal and not medaling at all. So it's a combination of a lot of things to get to this point, and to win one of these gold medals.