When the swimming events begin in the London Olympics later this month, all eyes will be on Michael Phelps. That is, until Ryan Lochte decides to go for a swim.
To many Americans, Lochte is a vaguely remembered swimmer from the Beijing Games in 2008. To others, he is nothing more than "that swimmer in the Gillette commercial," compared to Phelps, who seems to be in every other commercial now. He may not be universally known now, but Lochte will change that in his two weeks in London. He has proven himself to be able to beat the almighty Phelps and the rest of the world as well.
Ryan Lochte is a native of Gainesville, Florida, and attended the University of Florida. He first made a name for himself in the Athens Olympics in 2004, where he was part of a gold-medal winning 4×200m freestyle relay team. He added two more gold medals to his mantle four years later in Beijing by winning the 4×200m freestyle relay and the 200m backstroke, his first individual gold. His accomplishments, however, were immensely overshadowed by Phelps' unparalleled performance at the Beijing Aquatic Center.
Since Beijing , Lochte's prominence in swimming has become more evident. At the World Championships in 2009, Lochte won three gold medals and set a world record in the 200m individual medley. Two years later, in the World Championships, Lochte won all five events in which he participated, two of which were against Phelps. He also broke his own 200m individual medley record at these World Championships, which still stands today.
Lochte will be competing in at least five events this summer, four of them individual. He will be found in the 200m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley and the 4×200m freestyle relay. These are the same five events that Lochte competed in and won at the 2011 World Championships. In other words, Lochte won the most recent international competitions in all of the events that he is swimming in London. He could also be possibly selected to two additional relays which would bump his total events up to 7. Although competing in 7 events in the 8 day period that swimming events are held is exhausting, Lochte has proven himself up for the task.
For many Americans, the most interesting storyline regarding Ryan Lochte is the rivalry with Michael Phelps, which will climax in London. Lochte's greatest challenge in London will be surpassing Phelps in his final Olympics. Phelps and Lochte will be competing against each other in 2 events (200m and 400m individual medley), and both of those events will be closely watched. Lochte won both of those events at the 2011 World Championships. At the United States Olympic trials, Phelps won the 200 IM (in which Lochte holds the world record) while Lochte won the 400 IM (in which Phelps holds the world record ). It is difficult to predict the winners of these two events, but the advantage goes to Lochte, due to his recent string of success.
Ryan Lochte is poised to become the next Olympic superstar. He has proven that he can beat the world's best swimmers, and he'll be the favorite in the many events in which he will compete. There is no doubt that by the time the Olympic flame is extinguished the United States and the entire world will remember the name Ryan Lochte.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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