Ryan Lochte, who just competed in his 6th World Championships, sat down with Swimming World’s Jeff Commings to talk about his swimming career and goals.
The pair discussed a variety of topics ranging from Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, leadership, training and giving away his championship medals to young fans in attendance at meets.
When asked if he is getting too old to swim and why he keeps competing, Lochte said he continues because he is, “having so much fun. I will quit when I stop having fun. I am finding different ways of having fun. That is what life is all about – having fun.”
Commings asked Lochte what kind of grade he would give himself based off of his performance at the World Championships and Lochte replied by saying, “D or C- “, mainly because he did not train last year to see it payoff this year. He said he is now focused on Rio.
Lochte was the first person to win the 200 IM at four consecutive World Championships. He said he swam the 200 IM differently this year than prior years. He swam the back half hard instead of his normal first half hard. “I had a lot left in the tank”, Lochte said. He went on to say that he fully expected Michael Phelps to swim well in San Antonio because Phelps never stopped training. “He is definitely going to be THE guy in Rio,” said Lochte.
As far as leadership, Lochte said he never really wanted to be a team captain. He feels he shows his leadership in the pool. On deck he helps relax everyone because, “I am so nonchalant”, said Lochte.
Lochte has given away all of his medals except his Olympic ones. “Seeing their face light and seeing that big smile (when I give away a medal), I think that beats winning the gold medal,” concluded Lochte.
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