SwimSwam reported that Ryan Lochte has Landed in Charlotte, but no official announcement had been made by Lochte about his plans to stay and train at SwimMAC under legendary coach, David Marsh.
Today Scott Fowler at the Charlotte Observer reports Lochte has committed to staying in Charlotte through the 2016 Olympics. He will be 32 by the time those are held. There would be only one reason why he would leave Charlotte earlier than that. Lochte said:
“I’ll be here through 2016, unless something happens where I start doing really bad in the sport. Then I’ll have to go back to where my swimming career started, back in Florida. But I don’t plan on getting any slower — 2016 is my biggest goal. I want to stick it out here and see what me and David Marsh can do.”
Since the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Lochte’s been vocal about his desire to swim shorter races and focus on his speed. Greg Troy’s University of Florida Gators, where Lochte spent his entire elite career, is known as a hard-driving program geared more toward middle-distance. Coach Marsh at SwimMAC has a reputation as a speed magician. His elite program operates like a high intensity training machine. Many of the athletes that come to Marsh already have a substantial base of training under their belts. With that base in place, Marsh conditions his pros, and they are truly professional athletes, to swim high in the water and at race pace. That’s it. That’s the focus of the program. SwimMAC, under Marsh’s watchful eye, is one of only a few programs in the United States that caters to older elites’ training needs.
“In my next swimming career, which started this morning, I want to train for some sprint events now…. I’m not done yet. I think there’s a lot more I can accomplish in the sport of swimming. I want to take my swimming to a new [level], and I want to bring it here to Charlotte.”
Lochte’s already made in-roads in the 100 meters butterfly, ripping a 51.48 in the semi finals at the 2013 FINA World Championships. (He was 6th in the finals with a 51.58.) Lochte’s 100 backstroke is a threat, if Marsh’s speed magic works, and history tells us it will. Nick Thoman’s Olympic silver medal in the 100 back is evidence enough.
See a SwimSwam inside look at the SwimMAC training machine here: