Ryan Lochte, now 32 and sporting bluish-gray hair, has long played second fiddle to teammate and world-class athlete, Michael Phelps. Lochte, a three-time Olympian, winner of five gold medals, and world-record holder in the 4x200m freestyle relay, is better known for his terrible interviews, sexual exploits, and reality TV show than for his swimming prowess.
Lochte’s success in the pool is hardly the most popular thing about him.
Despite being a two-time winner of both the World Swimmer of the Year Award and the American Swimmer of the Year Award, three-time winner of the FINA Swimmer of the Year three times, and having won 89 medals in major international competitions, Lochte will probably always be known best for his attention-grabbing antics, like a public makeout session with Carmen Electra in 2013, and his made up mantras, including “Jeah!” and “Don’t duplicate, Just [sic] recipitate.”
Whatever that means.
The 2016 Rio Olympics will mark Lochte’s fourth Games– and he’s feeling the pressure. "This will be my fourth Olympics and it kind of feels like it will be my first one. Since the last couple years haven't been up to par by my standards, I feel like the underdog," Lochte told USA Today.
But Lochte’s Olympic dreams may already be crushed: He failed to qualify to defend his 2012 Olympic gold medal in the 400m individual medley in the U.S. Olympic trials– before the Rio Games even started.
Despite this disappointment, he will still compete in 2 events, mirroring his program from his Olympic debut in Athens in 2004, where he took home a gold and silver medal.
Lochte is the favorite to win the 200m individual medley– the event for which he holds the world record, four consecutive world titles, as well as three Olympic medals. He also won gold on Tuesday night alongside Michael Phelps in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Ryan Lochte is unlikely to ever come close to matching Phelps’ prominence in the world of competitive swimming, or his celebrity, but there is no doubt he has been a valuable member of the U.S. Olympic swimming team.
There is also no resentment on Lochte’s part towards teammate and competitor Phelps. “He’s made me a better swimmer,” Lochte told reporters.
But as for Phelps’ insistence that this will be his final Olympic appearance, Lochte has made his doubts known: "I honestly don't think this is going to be his last Olympics. I'm saying he's going to come back."
Lochte will swim the 200 individual medley race Wednesday, August 10th at 1:14 pm EST and likely advance to the semifinals, held Wednesday evening at 10:29 pm EST. Although Lochte will not swim in the same heat as Phelps, the two may fight each other for top spots in Wednesday night’s semifinal.
He might even have to go head to head in the final against the now infamous #PhelpsFace on August 11th.
Watch Phelps Narrowly Beat Lochte at the 2016 Olympic Trials:
How to Live Stream the Olympics:
NBCUniversal’s networks and digital platforms will be showing nearly 7,000 hours of programing over 19 days during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will also live stream coverage of the Games for paid TV subscribers via TV Everywhere. You can download the NBC Sports app to your Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox or Roku or use the iOS, Android or Windows Phone apps.
You can also view live stream Olympic matches from NBC here.