Ryan Lochte #67, Ning Zetao #66 On ESPN’s World 100

by Luke Ryan 17

June 01st, 2017 Asia, Industry, News

Each year ESPN releases a list of the 100 most famous athletes in the world today. This year, coming in at 67 on the list is US Olympian Ryan Lochte. Lochte, who is still suspended by USA Swimming and will therefore be unable to compete at the World Trials later this month appears on the list for the first time.

Prior to 2017, Lochte was already famous; popularizing the term “jeah!” and creating a TV show entitled “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” The show aired for one season back in 2013, a year removed from his 3rd Olympic Games in London. ESPN notes, though, that was truly made the 12 time olympic medalist a household name was his mishap following competition at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where he along with a few other US Swimmers claimed to have been robbed at a gas station but were found to be lying later on. The Rio incident caused his 10 month suspension but also catapulted him onto national TV network after network and is a key reason for his naming on this list. Lochte also appeared on Dancing with the Stars for a season and made it relatively far on the hit show.

Lochte, however, isn’t the most famous swimmer on the list, in spite of the post-Rio explosion of attention. Ranking one spot ahead of him is Chinese swimmer Ning Zetaowho has never won an Olympic medal. The 24-year old freestyle sprinter, a Chinese National Record holder, was the 2015 World Champion in the 100 free and was named China’s Athlete of the Year in 2014 and 2015 after rehabbing his image from a failed drug test in 2011. but is most famous in his native China for his looks. Outside of the pool, though, he garnered a huge online following last summer for his looks, which have landed him on the covere of several Chinese magazines, including those not related to sports.

Last year, Michael Phelps, undeniably the most famous swimmer ever, found himself at 46th on the ESPN World 100 List. While no other swimmers join Lochte this year, four of the top ten athletes on the list are Americans. Coming in at 2 and 8 overall are Lebron James and Kevin Durant. At numbers 5 and 10 are golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods respectively.

The full top ten for 2017 is:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo
  2. Lebron James
  3. Lionel Messi
  4. Roger Federer
  5. Phil Mickelson
  6. Neymar
  7. Usain Bolt
  8. Kevin Durant
  9. Rafael Nadal
  10. Tiger Woods

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How the greatest olympian of all time fell off the list this quickly is beyond me…


Doesnt qualify anymore. It’s only active athletes.

Tea rex

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson / Ryan “The Jock” Lochte 2024!


Famous or infamous?

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