Lochte: “I Will Quit Swimming When I Stop Having Fun”

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

36 year-old Ryan Lochte spoke with the press after finishing 7th in the 200 IM, the event in which he’s the world record holder and has made the team in the last four Olympics.

Lochte expressed his disappointment about the swim, but said he that he did feel a sense of peace since there was no more pressure on him to make the team. He also admitted that it was tough to see him still going after another Olympic team three years from now, but didn’t totally rule it out.

I think I’ve said this millions of times, I will quit swimming when I stop having fun. I love this sport. It’s gotten me to places that I have never — that people dream about. So I’m very grateful for that. I’m still having fun, I’m finding different ways of making swimming fun again. I still want to race, but as far as another Olympic Trials, I don’t know about that. I will be 40. That’s pushing it. We’ll see. Anything can happen. I could take years off and come back and be stronger than ever, who knows. 

Lochte was visibly emotional during the conference, including when he told about how Ryan Murphy and Michael Andrew described the impact he had on them.

I mean, just like that, it means a lot.  Probably more than winning a gold medal. I honestly, I couldn’t be here right now and have the swimming career that I had without them, so thank you. That’s all I’ve got. 

Originally reported by James Sutherland 

MEN’S 200 IM FINAL

  1. Michael Andrew (RPC), 1:55.44
  2. Chase Kalisz (ABSC), 1:56.97
  3. Kieran Smith (FLOR), 1:57.23

Michael Andrew delivered almost the exact same swim we saw from him last night, except this time it was done with the pressure on.

Andrew blitzed the field on the first 50, out in 23.77, and had subsequent splits of 29.29 and 32.29 on back and breast, putting him five one-hundredths shy of his 150 pace compared to last night.

The 22-year-old was way ahead of the field at that point, more than two and a half seconds, and despite laboring over the final few strokes, he won by over a second and a half in 1:55.44, just off his PB of 1:55.26 from last night.

That adds a second individual event for Andrew in Tokyo, having won the 100 breast early in the meet, and he’ll look to add a third in the 50 free.

Chase Kalisz moved up from fifth at the 100 to second with 50 meters to go, joining Andrew sub-33 on breast in 32.77, as he locks in a second event of his won at the Games with a runner-up finish in 1:56.97.

Florida’s Kieran Smith sneaked up on Kalisz a little on the free, closing in 28.43 to take a close third in 1:57.23, lowering his best time of 1:57.61 from the semis. Carson Foster took fourth in 1:57.99, adding a bit from the semis, as he has three near-misses her in Omaha.

Back in seventh was Ryan Lochte, the world record holder in the event, who, at 36, may have just raced competitively at the highest level for the last time. Lochte was never in serious contention in this race, ultimately clocking 1:59.67.

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Billy Mays
3 months ago

The final Jeah!

T S
Reply to  Billy Mays
3 months ago

Jeah never ends

Cate
Reply to  T S
3 months ago

It did when he grew up.

Zak Shafique
3 months ago

Honestly thought he had a 1.57 in him

Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
Reply to  Zak Shafique
3 months ago

If the games were in 2020 i think he would have qualified

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
3 months ago

i felt that too ….nevertheless , his way of handling the answers was Superb . What a Legend

Cate
Reply to  Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
3 months ago

Nope. He was already on the downhill slide at Rio. No matter how much you want to, (and we want them to) you can’t outrace father time. Phelps knew that and made plans to move on. Lochte needs the money.

A C
Reply to  Zak Shafique
3 months ago

The race could not have set up better for him. He only needed a 1:56.50 to qualify. He has lost the explosive power on his last 50, and the ability to swim three rounds. Best wishes for the future.

Cate
Reply to  A C
3 months ago

He’s 36

Ew David!
Reply to  Zak Shafique
3 months ago

My guess is he got overtrained. I think the 60-70k weeks plus having kids wasn’t the ideal way to train at 36. Otherwise how could pull a fat 1:57.7 out of this hat being 20 overweight but only manage a 1:58 here?

anonymous
Reply to  Ew David!
3 months ago

He had an interview and said he was not able to train like he use to. His body needed recovery. Certain days of the week he was only training once a day

Blackflag82
Reply to  Ew David!
3 months ago

My theory- Lochte’s fat actually made him sit higher in the water during the last 100. It was nature’s fully body suit. it didn’t affect his core strength, aerobic base, or arm and leg strength. But everyone saw it as a disadvantage so he lost it and boom- 2 seconds slower.

Jack
Reply to  Blackflag82
3 months ago

I swam through about a hundred and twenty pounds of weight loss a couple years ago. And let me tell you, 180 is better than 200 is better than 220 etc.

Fat adds some buoyancy, but it adds a lot of drag.

A C
Reply to  Ew David!
3 months ago

This past year I watched a TV program or two where he described his typical day. I seem to recall him saying that he drove quite a distance to the pool and back, and that struck me as being a mistake.

Cate
Reply to  Ew David!
3 months ago

He’s 36. That’s not a guess.

Khachaturian
3 months ago

King

SWIMGUY12345
3 months ago

As a very mediocre swimmer who grew up swimming in the 2000’s and 2010’s, thank you Lochte. More so than almost any other male swimmer in the sport, he has been approachable, kind, genuine, and never “too cool” to talk to anyone.

What he has meant to this sport and many young swimmers can’t be quantified. I know Phelps is the GOAT, but in terms of being someone who interacted with the swimming community personally, it was Lochte. I can’t stand when people bad mouth him.

You have been an inspiration. You have been a great leader. And you have shown that we all make mistakes, but that it’s about how you respond to them is what matters most. You… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by SWIMGUY12345
Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

I just saw a pic when MP has hugged Ryan Lochte on the pool deck after the 200 IM final.
Maybe I didn’t see well but the retired swimmer (MP) looked fittest than the still active swimmer (Ryan Lochte).

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

It appears that way

Xman
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Lochte never had a physique to be shirtless on men’s fitness magazine.

Patty
Reply to  Xman
3 months ago
MTK
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Don’t kid yourself – Lochte is in great shape. He’s strong and fit, but the thing about him was always that his body type wasn’t the typical long and lean swimmer’s body. His physique is more square and stocky than most people you see at this level. He had so much talent though that he was able to overcome that, to the tune of 7 individual Olympic medals.

Last edited 3 months ago by MTK
The Original Tim
Reply to  MTK
3 months ago

Yeah. I’ve got the same body type, but even blockier than Lochte’s. Even at my most fit (my record is 4% body fat), I definitely stand out compared to all the other really fit swimmers at meets.

Of course, I’m nowhere even close to being in the ballpark of Lochte’s performance level; I’m just commenting on the body type

Marc
Reply to  The Original Tim
3 months ago

My guy you have never been 4% bodyfat in your entire life unless you’re an IFBB pro

MTK
Reply to  Marc
3 months ago

Yeah, nobody that competes in sports has 4% body fat. If someone was 4% body fat, they’d never be able to perform at a high level. 4% is for show only. Most elite swimmers on the men’s side fall into 8-13%.

Look up any picture of 4% body fat and the guy will look like a dried out potato.

Last edited 3 months ago by MTK
Bignowhere
Reply to  MTK
3 months ago

My college team did body fat measurements one year, several times during the season. At the end of the season several guys were at 5%. At the time the coach told us that it would be better to be a little higher than that and that most elite male swimmers were more like 8%. (We were not elite, D3) This was decades ago, so maybe the thinking has changed. But anyway, based on that experience 4% isn’t impossible.

Cate
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Phelps works out very day with his wife.

deepblue
3 months ago

He might say he’s having fun… but looking at how he walks out on deck and his reaction after he touches the wall, it really doesn’t show on his face.

MTK
Reply to  deepblue
3 months ago

There’s still the initial sting of knowing he didn’t accomplish his goal. I wouldn’t hold it against him that he seemed bummed about the results – someone’s immediate reaction to something, vs how they feel once they’ve let it digest for a bit, are often very different.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  MTK
3 months ago

Wisely said MTK

LochteFan
3 months ago

If that message isn’t on a “wall of quotes” at an age group program in the near future than we’ve all missed the point of this.

If you’re not doing this for fun to balance out the accolades, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Even through his controversy in 2016 and his struggles thereafter, his message is a positive one.

Having met him and his family several times through mutual personal friends, Ryan was amazingly down to Earth and generous in conversation and extremely intuitive and gave in depth insight on his approach to his swimming…and it always revolved around enjoying being in the water and having fun competing.

Even though he didn’t qualify, this was… Read more »

Little Mermaid
Reply to  LochteFan
3 months ago

Exit, he said it’s not over!

MTK
Reply to  LochteFan
3 months ago

If nothing else, it should show people that you can still be an amazing athlete in your mid 30s and beyond. “Success” doesn’t have to mean making the Olympics – nobody would think anything was worth trying if we all held ourself to that standard.

Sqimgod
3 months ago

1:55 next year if he goes on USRPT