Charlotte’s Olympic superstar talks training for Rio and hanging in the Queen City.
Eleven-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte made a splash when he moved to Charlotte three years ago to train alongside his best friend and fellow Olympian, Cullen Jones, and under Coach David Marsh at SwimMAC, one of the nation’s most elite swim programs. This month, we caught up with the 31-year-old heartthrob to chat about prepping for Rio surrounded by Southern hospitality.
How has training in Charlotte helped?
Charlotte has made a huge difference for me. I needed a change from the college environment, and SwimMAC Carolina has supported me and challenged me to a new level.
What are you most nervous about in Rio this month?
I don’t think in terms of nervous. I get excited as events get bigger and bigger, but I’ve always loved to race and I look forward to racing a lot in the coming weeks.
What’s different about these Olympics for you?
These Olympics are different because I am older and can appreciate the challenging process of training with recovery and dryland more and more part of the overall picture. Also, I know a lot more people in and around the sport so I just enjoy seeing them and hearing from them from all corners of the globe.
How has being part of SwimMAC been a game changer for you?
Being part of SwimMAC has been very fulfilling in that I get to regularly interact with the younger “MACer’s” as we call them. A great deal of my motivation comes from knowing that on any given day, I might inspire just one more young person to be better at swimming or better at life.
What are some of your favorite things in Charlotte?
I love Cowfish, the Whitewater Center, grabbing pizza and wings on Fridays at Libretto’s Pizza and hanging out with my two dogs Carter and Yeezy, a French bulldog puppy.