Fans who follow swimming closely may have noticed that Ryan Lochte hasn’t competed in any major swimming events for the last 6 months. It was largely announced that this was due to a knee injury, but some digging by David Briggs of the Columbia Daily Tribune revealed what exactly was the cause of this injury.
““Well, I might as well just throw it out there,” Lochte said after scratching his only final on Day 1 of the Missouri Grand Prix. “I hurt my knee dancing.”
Yes, he said dancing. But not any ballroom waltzes. Lochte says that he and some of his friends were watching music videos at his home in Florida when all of a sudden a break-dancing jam session broke out. Anyone who remembers Lochte’s Olympic escapades with a grill probably isn’t surprised by this.
“You know how it is,” he said. “People go around in a circle and you start break-dancing. Someone comes in, someone comes out. So it’s my turn, I start dancing, my knee went one way, my foot went the other and I heard a pop.”
After a brief icing of the knee, Lochte didn’t think any more of it, and continued having a good time.
“I was like, ‘You know what, I’m not going to let it ruin my night,’ ” he said. “So I went out and had fun, went dancing on it even more. The next day, it swelled up like a grapefruit.”
Needless to say, his coaches at the Gator Swim Club in Gainesville were not happy when they learned that Lochte had in fact torn his MCL. Lochte is using the Grand Prix event in Missouri as a way to test his knees strength, and to test his fitness after 6-months out of the water. He scratched his final yesterday, via coaches decision, but swam the 100 backstroke today.
As if this meet didn’t take a big enough hit when Phelps and the rest of his NBAC teammates were snowed in in Baltimore, it turns out Lochte isn’t competing at full strength either.
Although this was clearly detrimental to his career, Lochte’s reaction demonstrates an awesome personality that has endeared him to swim fans everywhere, including myself. The guy is just so laid-back, and knows how to take swimming seriously without taking himself too seriously.