Ryan Lochte Still 100% In On Tokyo Olympics Despite His Age and Year-Long Postponement

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Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Ryan Lochte insists he is still going to fight for a spot on the Tokyo team which would be his fifth Olympic Games.

With the Olympic Games being postponed another year to 2021, that leaves a lot of athletes with questions on what their futures will look like having to extend their training another 365 days.

The older the athlete, the more questions to face. Ryan Lochte, who at 35, is training for what would be his fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo while also supporting a family. But with the coronavirus pandemic causing the Games to be pushed back another year, Lochte will have to hold on for another year. Like many Olympic hopefuls, Lochte was disappointed in the decision to postpone the Games, but he knew it was the right move to ensure the safety of the rest of the world.

“Especially these past four years, I have had to overcome a lot. This was going to be one of my most important Olympics,” Lochte told Swimming World. “But this is bigger than me. This is bigger than the Olympians. This is about the entire world and what we have to do now is come together and stay safe and stay healthy or else this is going to get worse and worse.”

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Ryan Lochte will be 36 at the 2021 Olympic Trials. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

The official dates for the 2021 Games have not been finalized, but the four-time Olympian and current 200 IM world record holder will likely be just a few days away from his 37th birthday if he can earn a seat on the plane to Japan. Even though he is twice as old as some of his competitors at Olympic Trials, Lochte had no hesitation in saying he was still going to push for another year.

“There’s still more I want to accomplish in the sport of swimming,” Lochte said. “This Olympics being postponed is just another minor bump in the road. I’ve had many bumps in the road especially in the past four years that I have been able to overcome and get back and move forward.

“It’s a minor bump but I got to look at the positives of this. I get to have another year of training, another year of getting better. Working on my technique and getting stronger in and out of the water. I think I’m going to become an even better and faster swimmer than I am right now.”

Ryan Lochte has had a rocky road since his last Olympics in Rio where he swam on the gold medal winning 4×200 free relay team alongside Michael Phelps, and was fifth in the 200 IM.

He generated international controversy when he had a drunken altercation with Brazilian police after the Rio Games, and was suspended by USA Swimming for lying publicly about the incident. He lost four of his major sponsorships, could not compete for a spot on the 2017 Worlds team, and lost a lot of his reputation.

The bumps in the road continued in 2018 when he was suspended by USADA just before the US Nationals for receiving intravenous fluids without a therapeutic use exemption.

But Lochte made a strong comeback to the pool at the 2019 US Nationals, winning the 200 IM and re-establishing his position among the world’s elite.

After starting a family, Lochte has started to clean up his image. He wanted to use the 2020 Olympic Trials as a way to show he can fight through any adversity and come out of the other side stronger. He will just have to wait another year to do that.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many pools around the world to be closed and athletes everywhere were scrambling trying to find adequate opportunities to train. Lochte is training in Gainesville, Florida alongside his long-time coach Gregg Troy and he was able to train in the water up until Monday. Now he is making the best of the situation with his wife and kids while they are at home.

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Ryan Lochte with long-time coach Gregg Troy at the 2019 US Nationals. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

“Right now we are doing a lot of bench presses with the kids, holding them and doing some squats and staying fit as much as possible,” Lochte said.

“We just have to stay positive and we have to stay together and keep doing the protocols that every one is doing with washing your hands and everything. So we have to keep on track and not fall apart in these times. Yes, we don’t have a swimming pool but we can still stay fit and we still become active.”

If Ryan Lochte is to make the Olympic team in 2021, he would be just the third American swimmer to compete in five Olympic Games after his long-time rival Phelps and Dara Torres.

17 comments

    • Lyle Aloile

      Arvel McElroy old age in terms of swimmers general life span.

    • Arvel McElroy

      Lyle Aloile I know. Still an odd term to use

  1. Julie Tellier

    Hopefully he can act like an adult this time around

  2. Kimberly Joy

    Old age? Seriously? Who the hell wrote this, a millennial? Offensive beyond belief

    • Jānis Siliņš

      Kimberly Joy he is old for swimming. Not many swimmers compete at his age, moreover consider qualifying for olympics.

    • Jody Dykes

      Kimberly Joy He will be nearly 37 next year when the Olympics are scheduled to take place. Anthony Ervin was 34 at the last Olympics and he was the old guy on the team. Michael Phelps was 31 in the last Olympics and talked about how much harder it was at his age…Lochte is going to have a heck of a time even qualifying.

    • Kimberly Joy

      I have been involved in swimming for 30 years. Do not need anyone explaining age to me. The headline says old age – not old age for swimming.

      Its rude and irresponsible.

  3. Pamela Goldsbro

    Hope the twit who wrote this looks as hot in his/ her old age as Ryan looks👍

  4. Jim Bowser

    I lost respect for him. Yet, he is applauded for trying to contribute to the USA Olympic swim team if he makes the squad. Partying the night before a 400free race and losing the lead to cost a USA relay a gold medal is just a bad image of him many cannot shake. The public lies and unlawful behavior with dirt poor leadership were incredible. Forgiveness and forgetting are two different things. Although one can forgive him, the negative image of his attitude/action and lack of team production is tough to forget. This is why one must maximize the moments one faces. One never knows if the chance(s) will be presented in the future. Nothing is promised. Redemption is good for the soul. If you are fast enough, good luck. Don’t blow it!

  5. Mary-Helen Hopkins

    If he’s an example of “old age”, then I’m an extinct dinosaur!!

  6. Kimberly Hoodin

    Must I say it again? Don’t count him out!