Four-time Olympian and world record holder Ryan Lochte chatted with Markos Papadatos about his latest projects and goals, which include being a part of the Global Swim Series (GSS) “Race the Legends” format, and his digital platform “Loch’d In Training.”
Former U.S. Army general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell once said: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” Ryan Lochte is an inspiring athlete and individual that epitomizes this wise quote.
Lochte is a true Olympic legend in the sport of swimming. He is the second-most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time. He is a 12-time Olympic medalist (six gold, three silver, and three bronze), a world champion (with 39 world championship titles to his credit), and a world record holder.
Unfortunately, he did not make his fifth Olympic team since he finished in seventh place in the men’s 200 meter individual medley (IM) race (with a time of 1:59.67) at the U.S. Olympic Trials, but he expressed his gratitude to the entire swimming community and the fans for their support. “There were a lot of people out there rooting for me, cheering me on, and believing me in. That made me feel good again because, after 2016, I felt like I lost all that,” he said.
“To this day, after the Olympic Trials, people message me nonstop on Instagram and tell them that they look up to me and that I am a role model to them, and that means everything to me,” he added.
Olympian Michael Andrew, who finished in first place in the men’s 200 meter IM race, had nothing but the nicest remarks about Lochte and proclaimed him a “legend” in the sport, and stated that he is honored to carry Lochte’s torch. “That was awesome,” Lochte admitted. “The whole swimming community has been really supportive and they have told me how much I’ve taught them throughout my swimming career and that means a lot.”
Michael Andrew was very grateful that he was afforded the privilege to share that race with Lochte, who still holds the world record in the event with a time of 1:54.00.
Speaking of 2016, USA Today recently reported that the charges on Lochtre were dropped over the incident in Brazil, which was about time. “Finally, I can end that chapter of my life, and now we can move forward,” he said.
Medals, awards, titles, and records aside, Lochte has one of the biggest hearts out there, and he is passionate about growing the sport of swimming and passing on his love for swimming and water safety to the youth and future generations.
Lochte serves as a Swim Ambassador for the SPIRE Institute, along with Caeleb Dressel and Elizabeth Beisel. “I love SPIRE. When I got to a certain level in the sport, I wanted to give back. This is a perfect way of me giving back and helping kids get into their dream colleges,” he said.
“SPIRE is the stepping stone for that. The facility is unbelievable and top-of-the-line. I am happy to be a part of it,” he added.
He teamed up with health fitness guru Jennifer Cohen and they launched the digital platform Loch’d In Training, which allows people to train with Lochte and it gives them access to live and on-demand workouts.
While he temporarily put in on pause to train for Tokyo, Lochte will be starting “Loch’d In Training” up again. “It’s a unique thing for us because it allows people to work out with me in real-time, and t gives them the chance to have a personal trainer in real-time to give feedback, which is amazing,” he said.
Lochte is looking forward to participating in the Global Swim Series (GSS), where he will kick off the “Race the Legends” (RTL) format, which will allow swimmers from all over the world to participate in virtual and actual races with many of the greatest swimmers of all time in select GSS open water races locations all over the world.
Robert Kent, the CEO and founder of the Global Swim Series, stated that having Lochte kick off the “Race the Legends” will be ‘incredible.” “It is a good day when one of the greatest swimmers of all time joins your team. It is a dream for all of us at GSS and will be a thrill for swimmers around the world,” Kent said.
The mission of the Global Swim Series is to promote and raise awareness about the sport of swimming around the world. This is done by offering a fun, healthy, competitive, and adventurous race experience for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Lochte is the quintessential athlete and personality to exemplify competitive, fun, and adventurous swimming. “I love swimming and one of the things that I want to do is grow the sport, and the Global Swim Series is going to help me to do that,” he said. “It’s awesome, I just did my virtual race yesterday.”
Their inaugural “Race the Legends” event will take place in Egpyt from October 30 to November 4, 2021. “I am very excited about that,” he said. “Robert Kent does a very good job. To be a part of the Global Swim Series is amazing. It is unique because it gives everyone, from all over the world, a chance to race. It has a more relaxed vibe. You can bring your family out there and do a race. It’s just fun, it’s going to grow and it’s going to be huge.”
The “All-Star Swim Camp Series” is also on the horizon for Lochte. “While we haven’t done one yet officially, but I love it since I love teaching kids how to swim,” he said.
“This allows me to do this on a broader scale, all over the world,” Lochte said. “We have a couple of countries lined up, and it will allow me to do what I love to do, and swim. I get to teach kids things that I’ve learned and developed throughout my career, and I get to pass on that knowledge to the younger generation. This is going to be amazing.”
When asked what commonalities he sees among champions, he responded, “We are all hard workers. We don’t like to lose. We are determined, we grind, and we outwork the people next to us. I can use all of these values outside of the sport of swimming and in my life. That’s what people learn when they get at the highest stage, such as the Olympic Games.”
“Everyone has a common thing: we are racers, and we had to get there through hard work,” he added. “We know what hard work is, and we definitely put our bodies to the test.”
He listed the individual medley (IM) as his personal favorite stroke in swimming. “I call it a stroke because it’s a race where you have to do all of the strokes together (the butterfly, the backstroke, the breaststroke, and the freestyle), so I love that race,” he said.
“The IM is the hardest because you have to train every stroke. You can’t only be good in one stroke,” he added.
He also acknowledged the “underwater dolphin kick” is his specialty.
For Lochte, TYR Sport has been a “family.” This company is known for being a manufacturer of competitive swimming apparel and gear. “After 2016, all of the sponsors dropped me, but TYR was the one company that picked me back up and they brought me into their family as their own. The way they have treated me and my entire family is amazing,” he said.
“TYR goes way beyond having great swimming products, they really treat you like their own, and they are family. TYR is extraordinary and it is amazing that I am a part of it,” he added.
He also shared that UBank, a Texas-based bank, is one of his newest sponsors. “The partnership is amazing,” he said. “This relationship is very important. Now that I am not competing a lot anymore, I get to work with a lot more companies. I wanted to get involved in banking and just go that route and see how it is. It’s another company that treats us like family. It’s another out-of-the-box opportunity that we are really excited about.”
He also opened up about his partnership with blk. water (which is pronounced black water). “Ironically enough, I hate drinking water,” he said with a laugh. “It has no taste and I was more of a Gatorade and soda person. blk. water came in and I tasted it, and I started drinking it, and this has helped me so much because it is infused with fulvic minerals and electrolytes.”
“During practice, blk. water has helped me stay hydrated, and I wasn’t adding all the extra sugar from the sodas and Gatorade,” he added. “Now, thanks to blk. I drink water.”
His “Courage to Continue” video for blk. water is quite motivational, and it may be seen below.
“Shooting the video for blk. water was really cool because we filmed it at my house, and we filled the whole entire tub with blk. water and it was fun. It was definitely a cool shoot that we did,” he said.
He noted that he is ready to get back to his routine thanks to Rhelief Pain, which helps him with any post-workout aches that he has so that he can get right back to training and focus on his future journey. “Rhelief Pain is really amazing,” he said. “If you are ever in pain, it is good to try it.”
“I would beat my body more than anyone because I can out-train anyone. Being 36 years old and still training the same way I was 20, Rhelief definitely helped me recover, and not wake up and have pains and aches. Thanks to Rhelief, I stopped taking Advil. I even got my grandmother-in-law into Rhelief, and it has helped her tremendously. It is pretty amazing how well it works,” he elaborated.
The natural supplement Tru Niagen has also been very helpful for Lochte. “After training, I can’t take a nap because I have kids,” he said. “They help me sustain my energy and they help me recover as well. My energy levels were increasing and I wasn’t getting as tired as easily throughout the day.”
Above all, he enjoys being a husband to Kayla Rae Reid, and a father to their two children: his son, Caiden Zane, and his daughter, Liv Rae. “After the Olympic Trials, I have been hanging out with the family and the in-laws, and enjoying my time,” he said. “I like playing with my kids and spending time with them, that’s a full-time job right there.”
“I am ready to go back to Gainesville, Florida, and start my training again since I will be competing in the World Cup races in October, and those races are underwater, which is my specialty. Those are going to be fun to do,” he said.
He praised his coach, Gregg Troy for being “the best coach in the world,” and he is happy for his coach being selected for the U.S. Olympic Team as an Assistant Coach. “Gregg being on the team is awesome, that’s going to be great for the team,” he said.
He is involved with such charities as Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and the Mac Crutchfield Foundation. “On August 13, we are doing an event for the Mac Crutchfield Foundation,” he said.
“Both of these charities are like family to me,” he admitted. “They are both wonderful. I’ve always wanted to give back. I’ve been blessed with my swimming ability to take me so far, and it allows me to be a role model for kids.”
On his definition of the word success, he said, “At the end of the day, I think my performance at the Olympic Trials was a success. Even though I didn’t make the Olympic Team, I thought it was a success because I did everything that I could, and I put my whole heart into it, and I left it all there at the pool. That’s my description of success, when you do something, you go all in.”
“I got a lot of people to believe in me, fans, family, and everyone,” he added.
Also, the blk. water commercial sums up the word success very eloquently: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Lochte has embodied this definition throughout his journey.
For his dedicated fans and supporters, Lochte said, “I love them. The true fans never left, and they stuck by me through my whole entire journey, both the ups and the downs. They were by my side rooting me on, cheering me on, and encouraging me to keep going. I owe a lot of my successes to my fans.”