Based on his expectations heading into the London Olympics, Ryan Lochte fell short of his goals. There is nothing wrong with five overall medals including two golds, but Lochte made it clear before the Games that he was aiming to sweep his events and beat Michael Phelps in their two head-to-head swims — the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys. Instead, he took gold in one and lost to Phelps in the other.
By the end of the first week in London, it seemed evident that the long week of swimming had taken its toll on Lochte. He finished third in the 200-meter backstroke — an event he won in Beijing in 2008 — and second behind Phelps in the 200-meter individual medley to wrap things up. On Thursday night after he was finished, Lochte wondered if he may have trained too hard.
“I’ll tell you this, I’m definitely gonna be training differently,” he said according to NBC Olympics. “All those brutal workouts that I did, I’m getting older. I think it’s time to change my training a little. Take it down a notch.”
Lochte celebrated his 28th birthday on Friday, so he certainly isn’t young by Olympic standards. NBC swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines also felt that the workload took its toll on Lochte.
“He’s a big boy,” Gaines said. “And those big boys need a lot of rest. I’m not saying he wasn’t rested enough, I think my point is that’s hard to swim so many events when you’re that big. It’s hard on the muscles. You need more recovery. You have a lot more weight pulling around the pool.”
Whether he prepared too hard or not hard enough, the bottom line is a week’s worth of swimming against the best competition in the world would take its toll on anyone not named the 2008 version of Michael Phelps. Lochte may not be happy with only two gold medals this year, but at least now he gets to focus on his one-night stands and guarding his medals rather than storing them in this safe spot.
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