Katie Ledecky turning pro

Katie Ledecky (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) Katie Ledecky (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)Katie Ledecky is turning pro.

The five-time Olympic gold medalist announced on Twitter that she is giving up her final two years of eligibility at Stanford. She'll keep training at the West Coast school while working toward her degree.

The 21-year-old Ledecky helped Stanford capture a pair of women's national championships, the first back-to-back titles since winning five straight from 1992-96.

Ledecky wrote on Twitter that she's excited to turn pro. She thanked the Cardinal program for "two amazing seasons" and saluted her family, friends and fans.

The decision to turn pro allows Ledecky to cash in on sponsorship and endorsement deals ahead of next year's world championships in South Korea and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Ledecky was among the biggest stars at the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning four golds and a relay silver. (The Associated Press)