Ryan Lochte has no-showed the 200 free, the very first event of the Orlando Grand Prix, and the first of 6 that he’s entered.
In-and-of-itself, this is not that noteworthy, as athletes enter, and then scratch, events at these Grand Prix meets quite frequently (which is another issue for another time). This in particular is noteworthy, however, in that this meet is supposed to be Lochte’s big comeback from a bad knee injury late last year, and this race was expected to be his return.
Have no fear, Lochte does still intend to appear at his home town meet. He tweeted out last night that his flight from Charlotte was cancelled, as many have been stuck by terrible air traffic out of North Carolina, which has been paralyzed by snow. Kathleen Baker, another SwimMAC National Teamer, also tweeted out this morning that her flight was cancelled. Madison Kennedy, another member of Team Elite, also couldn’t make her flight.
One might expect that missing the first day shouldn’t be a huge issue to Lochte, presuming he can make it there sometime on Thursday, as this meet should be more about testing the knee than any real time expectations. However, it doesn’t appear that weather conditions are improving in Charlotte, so they might not end up making the meet at all.
According to coach David Marsh, Lochte is looking at other options. “Lochte can’t help it. He’s snowed in. Trying to get it here. It’s important to race as he’s starting later in the season. Lochte may drive south out of the snow to another airport to make it.”
Most of SwimMAC Team Elite has arrived safely, however; Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace and Cullen Jones, for example, safely arrived yesterday.