Remember the Ryan Lochte of four years ago? The three-time, studly Olympian accepted his gold medal wearing a grill and made a splash with his outrageous outfits and his signature phrase, “Jeah.” Shortly after the Games, he a took on the celebrity circuit, dabbling his feet in reality television with his E! show “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” and making an appearance on “30 Rock,” and sitting front row at many a fashion show, everything from Joseph Abboud to Jeremy Scott.
Don’t expect the same stunts from Lochte this time around in the 2016 Rio Games. “No crazy outfits this Olympics,” said Lochte, 31, who currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he relocated a few years after leaving his longtime coach Gregg Troy in Gainesville, Florida.
Lochte, who is a Polo Ralph Lauren (an official outfitter of Team U.S.A.) brand ambassador, will be outfitted in plenty of garb by the brand. “I love the Polo dress shirts, they always look so clean cut on me,” he said.
Lochte's realized he's not the new kid on the block anymore—he's a little older and more seasoned, and he'll be chasing down 20-somethings in the pool in Rio—and his wardrobe reflects that.
But he's he’s still got a little goofball side, too. Don’t completely rule out the possibility of seeing him sport a grill or two during these games — they are his signature, after all. He’s also still a sucker for fun, statement-making shoes; his current sneaker collection is 163 pairs and growing. “My favorite shoes are the Jeremy Scott ones with the teddy bears on them,” he said.
And he’s still a huge Lil Wayne fan. “I listen to ‘The Sky’s The Limit by Lil Wayne’ before I swim,” said Lochte. ”The name speaks for itself.”
In the water, he’s still hoping to make just as big a splash as he did last time, readying himself for a showdown with Michael Phelps in Rio in the 200-meter individual medley. “I’m training about six hours per day right now,” said Lochte. As for his training rituals: “Nothing has really changed [in the past four years] except my recovery after workout and competitions.” He has, however, been dealing with a serious left knee injury and then pulled his groin muscle during the Olympic trials In Omaha, where he missed the cut in the 400-meter individual medley (he won gold in the event four years ago).
No matter what happens between the start and stop of the buzzer, he’s happy to have his family on hand to support him. “Hopefully, I will be able to see my family so I can give them all a big hug,” he said. And, he can’t wait to meet some fellow ballers—basketballers, that is. “I am most excited to meet some of the basketball players,” he said, “That is my favorite sport.”
One of his other favorite pastimes is a little less obvious. “Most people don’t realize that I love to draw,” admitted Lochte. He remained tight-lipped about his plans for the future, but maybe he’ll parlay his artistic skills into a second career. For now, he’s focused on adding some new hardware to his large medal collection.
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