He has been the recipient of the American Swimmer of the Year Award two timesin his illustrious career. He was also named the World Swimmer of the Year. Theswimming international body, called FINA, has adjudged him to be Swimmer ofthe Year twice. He is Ryan Steven Lochte, the Lochtenator, and he is one of thegreatest swimmers of all time.
5 Contentious Early Training
Ryan Lochte was born and initially raised in New York. He has German and Irishblood on his father’s side and Cuban ancestry on his mother’s side. The familymoved to Florida where his father got a job teaching and coaching swimming.
Lochte was already a regular in the pool when he was just five years old.However, his father would always pull him out of the lessons and trainingbecause of the younger Lochte’s naughtiness and misbehavior. He wouldconstantly pull the legs of the other people in the swimming pool. He would alsobe found blowing bubbles or playing hide and seek at the other end. It was likeeverything was a game for him and the entire pool was merely a playground.
Several painful defeats, highlighted by a loss at the Junior Olympic Games,turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Declaring that he was sick and tired oflosing, Lochte brought a new attitude to training and dedicated himself to thesport. It turned out to be the start of something great.
4 College Days
Lochte attended the University of Florida where he took up sport management.During his stay there, he was able to further hone his skills under coach GreggTroy. The NCAA named him Swimmer of the Year two times. He also was anAll-American 24 times, SEC champion seven times and NCAA champion seventimes as well. He won three individual gold medals in his senior year, breakingthe U.S. records in the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley in theprocess. He also won the 400-yard individual medley where he broke the long-standing record held by Tom Dolan.
3 International Competitions
Lochte was then included in the U.S. swimming team for the 2004 Olympic Gamesheld in Athens. He won two medals in the competition, namely a silver medal inthe 200m individual medley and a gold medal in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay.He was part of the team, along with Michael Phelps, Klete Keller and PeterVanderkaay that upset the team from Australia in the freestyle medley finals, thusgiving the heavily favored Aussies their first loss in six years.
In 2008, Lochte was again part of the swimming team in the Olympic Games inBeijing. He won a total of four medals, including a bronze in the 400m individualmedley, another bronze in the 200m individual medley, a gold in the 4 x 200mfreestyle relay and his first individual Olympic gold in the 200m backstroke. He
swam the second leg of the freestyle relay team, as he teamed up with Phelps,Vanderkaay and Ricky Berens in setting a world record time for the event. It wasLochte’s first ever world record. His 200m backstroke victory also resulted in anew world record.
2 Renewed Purpose in 2012
In 2012, Lochte again qualified for the Olympic Games. This time, however,he had a renewed purpose as he had just lost a family member to Duchennemuscular dystrophy. He vowed to raise awareness and money for the ParentProject Muscular Dystrophy, a charitable organization dedicated to research andcare of children with the said illness.
In London, Lochte relished the last chance he would get to compete head tohead with Phelps. While he acknowledged the greatness of his teammate andcompatriot, a lot of analysts and fans felt that Lochte’s time had come and wasprobably already the best swimmer at that time.
He did not disappoint, as Lochte won a total of five Olympic medals. He won abronze in the 200m backstroke, a silver in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay, anothersilver in the 200m individual medley, a gold medal in the 4 x 200m freestyle relayand another gold in the 400m individual medley.
In all, Lochte already has a stash of 11 Olympic medals in his collection. This tieshim for second place among male swimmers with the most medals, alongside thegreat Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi. Phelps still lead the way in this category.
On the individual front, Lochte’s seven individual medals is the second mostin the history of men’s Olympic swimming. He plans to further add to his tallyand maybe take a shot at first place by competing once again in 2016 when theOlympic Games go to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Including other competitions, he has a total of 70 medals, including 45 golds, 14silvers and 11 bronzes.
Lochte has been known to constantly blurt out the word “Jeah.” He has filed atrademark to the word with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
He has also been busy on the endorsement front. He was already estimated tobe earning more than $2.3 million before the Olympics in London. He has dealswith various brands, including Speedo, Gillette, Gatorade, Procter and Gamble,Mutual of Omaha, Nissan, AT&T and Ralph Lauren. He has also appeared in atelevision commercial for the Nissan Altima.
Lochte has also appeared on the cover page of different publications, includingTime, Vogue, Men’s Health and Men’s Journal. He also had guest spots inpopular television shows like 30 Rock and 90210. He has also sent out wordof his interest in joining Dancing with the Stars.
He also has a new show on the E! network entitled What Would Ryan LochteDo?
On a personal level, he was once linked to fellow swimmer Blair Evans, anOlympian from Australia. Though neither of them has confirmed or denied therelationship, Lochte’s mom declared in an interview that her son was too busy forany relationship.