London’s Calling: Ryan Lochte and Allison Schmitt

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PHOENIX, Arizona, July 25. IN Swimming World's second-to-last installment of London's Calling, today we profile two Team USA athletes with a smorgasbord of Olympic events. At Trials, both athletes collected titles, and, in the process, expectations for fast swims in London.

With formal introductions out of the way, today we present to you: Ryan Lochte and Allison Schmitt.

Ryan Lochte:

Due to NBC rights holder restrictions, the following video interview is only viewable until 7/27/2012:

It is difficult to narrow down to a single topic when discussing Ryan Lochte. Besides Michael Phelps, Lochte is the most recognizable current male swimmer, thanks in part to a collection of magazine covers, sponsorships and commercials. He is swimming four individual and one relay event in London.

Lochte holds three individual world records, in the short and long-course 200IM and the Short-course 400IM. He was also part of the world record-setting 4×200 freestyle relay in Rome at the 2009 World Championships.

At 2004 Olympic Trials, Lochte qualified to compete in his first Olympics after a second-place finish in the 200IM. He won silver behind Phelps at the Games. Lochte was also awarded gold as a member of the 4×200 freestyle relay when Team USA upset the favorited Australian team.

Lochte added to his medal count at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He won bronze in the 200 and 400IM, punctuating these races with a gold in the 200 backstroke, and beating defending champion Aaron Peirsol. Lochte was also a member of the United States' 4×200 freestyle relay, which defended its 2004 win.

In London, Lochte will be a top contender the 200 and 400IM. He'll attempt to defend his Beijing 2008 200 backstroke title, and will go head-to-head with Phelps in the 200 freestyle. By qualifying individually in the 200 freestyle, Lochte will also partake in the men's 800 freestyle relay.

Lochte trains under coach Gregg Troy in Florida, calling Troy “…one of the world's best coaches.”

Allison Schmitt:

Due to NBC rights holder restrictions, the following video interview is only viewable until 7/27/2012:

Besides Missy Franklin, Allison Schmitt will swim the most events of any USA female swimmer in London. She qualified individually in the 200 and 400 freestyle, and earned spots on the 400 and 800 freestyle relays.

At the 2008 Olympics, Schmitt won bronze as part of the women's 800 free relay and placed ninth individually in the 200 freestyle.

After the Olympics, Schmitt went on to win a respectable number of titles, both through USA swimming and collegiately. She was the 2009 National Champion in the 400 freestyle, and back-to-back 2010 and 2011 National Champion in the 200 freestyle. At the 2011 World Championships, she won gold as a member of the US 4×200 freestyle relay.

For the University of Georgia, Schmitt won NCAA titles all three years she competed. She won the 500 freestyle consecutively from 2009 to 2011, also winning the 200 freestyle in 2010 and 2011. Schmitt didn't compete with the Bulldogs for the 2011-2012 season because she went to train with Bob Bowman at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club in the lead-up to Olympic Trials.

At this years' Trials, Schmitt broke own American Record in the 200 freestyle, clocking the best time in the world this year. She additionally won the 400 freestyle and placed third in the 100 freestyle.

“I wasn't expecting it (the American Record),” Schmitt said after her 200 freestyle swim at Trials, “But I was trying to go out fast and not thinking about the time.”

Read the rest of the “London's Calling” Series by clicking on the link below:
London's Calling: Swimming World's Countdown to the Opening Ceremonies

Written and posted by Shoshanna Rutemiller