As the six-month countdown to the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro hit calendars across the world, one of Team USA’s biggest stars quietly wrapped up a training session in San Diego.
Swimmer Ryan Lochte spent the past three weeks living at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center while training at several high school pools across the county with his teammates on Swim Mac Elite based out of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lochte, who turns 32 in August, aims to represent the U.S. in his fourth Olympics.
“I remember when it was my 1st Olympics and I was one of the youngest guys on our USA team, and now I’m the oldest guy on the USA team, so it’s weird” said Lochte.
An 11-time Olympic Medalist, Lochte finds himself working harder than ever to compete against the next generation of swimmers emerging around him.
“I can’t be going out all the time partying, getting four hours of sleep and then going to practice and being fine,” said Lochte. Since the 2012 Olympics in London, he has embraced a regimented training schedule built on good sleep and a good diet.
“I hate greens. I’ve never been the one to really eat them and now for the past year -- year and a half -- I have a cook back home who is making greens and I’m starting to love eating salads,” said Lochte.
Team USA’s Olympic Swimming Trials, set for late June in Omaha, Nebraska, will determine who makes the 2016 Olympic Team.
Lochte is as close a lock to making the team as anyone in a Speedo, but still hasn’t decided whether to compete in the 400 individual medley, which earned him gold in London.
“I think it increases the chance of the U.S. to get a medal in that event, so we’re hoping that is something he and I can end up coming to as far as what he should do there at the meet,” said David Marsh, Swim Mac Elite Head Coach.
Lochte could opt to skip the 400 individual medley to conserve energy for later races since it is the meet’s first event.
He is the first to admit he can’t go “all out” like he used to, but proved at last year’s World Championships that he still has the physical tools to win Gold.
He also knows he has something the younger swimmers don’t have.
“It doesn’t get any easier, but you know, one thing we do have on them is confidence and experience”.