12-time Olympic Medalist Ryan Lochte has given several interviews following the IOC announcement that the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed to 2021. The 35-year-old gave an interview with the Los Angeles times soon after the Olympics were officially postponed. Lochte voiced his frustration at the beginning of the interview, saying “I was a little pissed because I’ve been training my butt off, and I’ve been feeling great.” He went on explain the significance of these Olympics for him personally, telling the LA Times “This Olympics was going to be the most important of my career because of everything that’s happened in my past.”
However, Lochte does state later in the interview that he believes postponing the Olympics was the right thing to do. “But this whole thing is way bigger than me. It’s way bigger than the Olympians, it’s affecting the entire world right now.” Lochte echoed these sentiments later in an interview with with ABC’s Good Morning America, calling the postponement “just a bump in the road” for athletes. He goes on to say it’s just a matter of adjusting training – “The Olympics are not canceled. They’re just postponed. Everything happens for a reason.”
In an interview earlier this week, Lochte told ESPN he’s “100%” all in for Tokyo 2021. He went on to explain to ESPN that, although he’s “disappointed” because he felt ready for the Olympics this Summer, he’s excited, because “I get another full year of racing, working on my technique and my skills.”
Lochte returned to racing last Summer, after serving a 14-month suspension for receiving an IV infusion that violated USADA rules. Upon his return to racing, Lochte won the 200 IM at U.S. Nationals last Summer.
Lochte is one of the most decorated Olympians of all time, having earned a total of 12 medals. He’s currently tied with fellow American swimmers Jenny Thompson, Natalie Coughlin, and Dara Torres for the 9th most medals for any Olympic athlete in any sport.