Ryan Lochte might have an unusual new hairdo, but his results in the pool are the same as they’ve always been. Last night, the white (or silver?)-haired Lochte helped Team USA win gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in Rio.
Today, he’ll compete in the 200-meter individual medley and try to add to his total of 12 Olympic medals over four Olympics, which makes him the second-most decorated Olympic swimmer of all-time. Here’s what the 32-year-old told us a few months back at the Head of the Charles Regatta about his training for Rio, his banned turn technique and his advice for future Olympians.
“It’s awesome that they’re making a rule and saying that Ryan Lochte did that. It’s not going to stop me. I’m still going to find ways to be faster.”
Are you preparing any differently for this Olympics than you have in the past?
The only thing that’s different is I switched states and coaches, so that’s a lot different. Other than that, my mindset and the way I approach every practice, every day are still the exact same.
What is your training process like right now?
My training process is hectic. I’m training every day, nonstop. Sundays I take off. I do nothing. I sleep all day. I’m beating my body up every day. In a given week, it’s about 30 to 35 hours, so it’s like a fulltime job of just me training.
Recently, there’s a new rule that outlawed your turn technique. How do you feel about that? Are you nervous about it?
Well, I’m flattered in a way, just because one of the main things I want to do is change the sport of swimming, and I’m changing it. It’s awesome that they’re making a rule and saying that Ryan Lochte did that. It’s not going to stop me. I’m still going to find ways to be faster.
What are the biggest challenges you’re foreseeing for this 2016 Olympics?
My biggest challenge would be just getting in my mindset of being confident. Now that everyone in this entire world are finding different ways to get faster, you have to go into the Olympics with confidence and knowing that the work that you did is going to pay off. You just have to be confident in yourself.
What’s your biggest advice for other aspiring Olympians?
Enjoy what you do. Life is too short. You have to live life to the fullest and, as long as you wake up every day with a big smile on your face, you can accomplish anything.