Ryan Lochte, the 11-time Olympic medalist and swimming star, is about to blow-up, big-time with the distribution of his new reality show series, What Would Ryan Lochte Do, premiering April 21st on E! 10pm/9pm central.
While Michael Phelps globe-trotts, quietly focused on improving his golf swing on Golf Channel’s The Haney Project (a satisfying show if you’re a golf fan or someone looking to improve their own game), Lochte’s in eye-candy, ADD comedy overdrive.
In the SwimSwam community, we expected Lochte to unleash, to be open, entertaining and utterly vulnerable on camera. While some worry the E! iteration of Lochte will be a caricature of the true guy…I’m not so sure.
Lochte’s always been a spur of the moment, fun-loving, seize the day type of person. We’ve all experienced that guy on our swim teams, the one who kept you laughing during crushing holiday training tears, the one who did the hard work then tied his suit around his head and ran around the pool, outside in the snow, on a dare. If you don’t understand that part of swimming, then, in my opinion, you don’t fully understand the swimming culture. It’s why the Harlem Shake videos went viral, largely driven by swim teams.
What people won’t expect from Lochte’s show are real moments, layers of Lochte we have not seen yet. We’ll see vulnerability on that side as well, though only as much as Lochte decides to give (as he’s in control of this production, unlike Stroke Kings on Unvi Sports, which failed to reach the mainstream). In post competition interviews, he’s already been transparent about the show’s production and how it’s impacted his training. Expect more of the same on the series. The mix of vulnerability and Lochte-esque antics won’t be for everyone, certainly not the conservation swim crowd (who actually like hearing the same, endless sound-bites from athletes), but they won’t be able to look away. They’ll watch too, or at least stayed apprised of the show’s narrative through word-of-month. In other words, if you understand entertainment industry lingo, Lochte will reach market saturation (in the swimming community and beyond) with What Would Ryan Lochte Do. It’ll be fun, the sport of swimming will receive more exposure, and Lochte will progress into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games an even bigger star.
Here’s Lochte commenting on the impact of the show’s production on his training:
Here are two Lochte moments in a reality type situation long before a reality show was on the radar: