Catching up with Ryan Lochte

Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
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MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun
The Basics... Ryan Lochte, from Daytona Beach, is a 6-foot-1 senior on Florida's seventh-ranked men's swimming team. Lochte became somewhat of a local celebrity when he won two medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Accomplishments... Lochte is best known for winning a gold medal in the 800 freestyle and a silver medal in the 200 individual medley at the 2004 Olympic Games. Collegiality, Lochte is an 18-time All-American who has won NCAA championships in the 200 backstroke, 200 individual medley, 800 freestyle and 400 IM.
Lochte has also won Southeastern Conference titles in the 200 IM, 200 backstroke and is a two-time 400 IM conference champion. Lochte was also the 2005 World Champion in the 400 freestyle and was last season's SEC male swimmer of the year.
Lochte On...
  • FACING No. 22 ALABAMA FRIDAY AND No. 1 AUBURN SATURDAY IN THE O'DOME: We're pumped. Auburn is the best in the nation so there will be a lot of good races. I hope we win.
  • HOW HIS 2004 OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE CHANGED HIM: I think it motivates me just because when I step on the blocks I know I've been somewhere where a lot of people haven't been. I think it pushes me. Basically, I'm pretty much going off the Olympics and the emotion I drew off of it. Even though it's been so long I still draw off it.
  • BEING RECOGNIZED AFTER RETURNING FROM THE ATHENS GAMES: I didn't really get recognized that much. I get a lot of fan mail and stuff like that. But I'm pretty much the same person as I was before I left.
  • THE AMOUNT OF FAN MAIL HE RECEIVES: I get real letters like people sending me pictures of myself and I sign them. I try to answer all of my fan mail.
    n HIS WEBSITE ( Actually one of my fans did that for me. I thought that was cool. I met him at a swim meet one time. He showed up. I said, 'thanks.'
  • HOW HE FEELS ABOUT THE ATTENTION HE HAS RECEIVED SINCE THE OLYMPICS: I like it because I did something really special and I like being recognized for it. But I wouldn't mind if people forgot about it. It wouldn't make a difference to me if people didn't know that I was in the Olympics. It was cool that I was in the Olympics and got recognized for it and get fan mail for it because I like fan mail, but I wouldn't mind if people didn't know, either.
  • WHAT SPORT HE PLAYS OUT OF THE POOL: I'm pretty good at basketball. I play basketball a little bit. I guess if you're a swimmer you're pretty much athletic all around. Playing another sport is not that hard.
  • HOW MUCH TIME SWIMMERS SPEND IN THE WEIGHT ROOM: About two or three hours in a week. It depends.
  • HIS PLANS AFTER UF: I'm going to stay here and finish up college and keep on training until the 2008 Olympics. Hopefully, I'll do better than I did in 2004. I hope I do good.
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