Childhood & Early Life
He was born on August 3, 1984, in Rochester, New York, to Steven R Lochte and Ileana "Ike" (née Aramburu). His four siblings include elder sisters Megan and Kristin and younger brothers Brandon and Devon.
He spent his early childhood in Bristol, New York, and studied at the ‘Bloomfield Central School.’ He started taking swimming lessons from his parents, both swim coaches, when he was 5 years old. When he was 12, his family relocated to Gainseville, Florida, so that his father could take up a coaching job in swimming.
Although he was casual about swimming in the early years and was more interested in basketball and skateboarding instead, he became serious about swimming while in junior high school. At 14, he lost in the ‘Junior Olympics,’ and this made him change his perspective and train hard.
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Achievements At College Level
He graduated with a major in sport management from the ‘University of Florida’ in 2007. From 2004 to 2007, he participated in the ‘National Collegiate Athletic Association’ (NCAA) and the ‘Southeastern Conference’ (SEC) competitions and was trained by Olympic swimming coach Gregg Troy, as part of the ‘Florida Gators’ swimming and diving team.
His swimming feats during his college days include becoming the ‘SEC’ champion seven times, the ‘NCAA’ champion seven times, and the ‘NCAA Swimmer of the Year’ twice. He was also a 24-time ‘All-American’ athlete.
In his senior year in college, he set records in the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley in the 2006 ‘NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships,’ winning national titles in all three of his individual events. In the 400-yard individual medley, he broke the earlier ‘NCAA’ record of Tom Dolan.
International Swimming Career
He qualified to represent the US in the ‘Olympics’ during the 2004 ‘US Olympic Team Trials.’ The 2004 ‘Summer Olympic Games’ held in Athens, Greece, saw him winning the gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, along with Phelps, Peter Vanderkaay, and Klete Keller, and a silver in the 200-meter individual medley. That year, he also won the gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, the silver in the 200-meter individual medley, and the bronze in the 200-meter freestyle event at the 2004 ‘FINA Short Course World Championships.’
He won the gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, with Phelps, Keller and Vanderkaay, and bronze medals in the 200-meter individual medley and the 200-meter backstroke event at the 2005 ‘World Aquatics Championships. ‘
He clinched three individual gold medals during the 2006 ‘FINA Short Course World Championships,’ setting new records in the 200-meter backstroke and the 200-meter individual medley events and a new championship record in the 400-meter individual medley event. During the opening leg of the 4×100-meter medley relay, he set a new world record in the 100-meter backstroke, by covering the distance within 50 seconds.
His made his first world record in a long course event during the 2007 ‘World Aquatics Championships’ on March 30, when he broke Aaron Peirsol’s world record and beat him to win his first individual gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke event in a long course world championship. The championship also saw Lochte setting a world record and winning the gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, with Phelps, Keller, and Vanderkaay, apart from winning three individual silver medals.
In the 2008 ‘Summer Olympics’ held in Beijing, China, he individually won a gold, setting the world record time of 1:53.94 in the 200-meter backstroke event. He also won two bronze medals in the same event. He also won the gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay with Phelps, Ricky Berens, and Vanderkaay, setting a new world record time of 6:58.56.
In 2010, he won 13 international medals. These included six gold medals (four individual medals) at the 2010 ‘Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.’ He was also the first athlete in the sport’s history to win seven medals (six gold and one silver) at the ‘Short Course Worlds’ during the 2010 ‘FINA Short Course World Championships.’
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In 2010, ‘Swimming World’ named him the ‘World Swimmer of the Year’ and the ‘American Swimmer of the Year,’ while ‘FINA Aquatics World’ named him the ‘FINA Male Swimmer of the Year.’ He earned such recognitions from the two magazines the following year, too, when he won five gold medals and one bronze medal at the 2011 ‘World Aquatics Championships.’ He set a world record time of 1:54.00 while winning the 200-meter individual medley event.
During the 2012 ‘Summer Olympics’ held in London, UK, he won two gold medals, two silver medals, and a bronze medal. The following year, he won three gold medals and one silver medal at the 2013 ‘World Aquatics Championships.’
At the 2015 ‘World Aquatics Championships,’ he won the 200-meter individual medley event. This made him the only other swimmer apart from Grant Hackett to win an event in four successive world championships.
The 2016 ‘Summer Olympics’ held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, saw him winning the gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, along with Phelps, Conor Dwyer, and Townley Haas.
He was dragged into an international controversy when he falsely reported that he, along with three US swim team members, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen, and Gunnar Bentz, were pulled over and robbed by armed robbers posing as the police when they were in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the 2016 ‘Summer Olympics.’ It was later discovered that the swimmers had urinated outside a gas station bathroom and Lochte had vandalized a framed poster. It was also found that they had offered money to the security guards at the gas station for causing such nuisance.
Lochte faced a charge in Brazil for falsely reporting a crime but was later dismissed by a court in Brazil in July 2017. He also faced a 10-month suspension for the scandal that later became known as the ‘Lochtegate’ scandal.
He became controversy’s child again when the ‘US Anti-Doping Agency’ suspended him from competition for 14 months in July 2018, for receiving a “prohibited intravenous infusion” in May that year.
He has endorsed brands such as ‘AT&T,’ ‘Nissan,’ ‘Procter and Gamble,’ ‘Gillette,’ and ‘Speedo’ and has featured in commercials for the ‘Nissan Altima.’ He has also been featured on the covers of ‘Vogue,’ ‘Men's Journal,’ ‘Men's Health’ and ‘Time.’
He was featured in the American reality TV series ‘What Would Ryan Lochte Do?’ The show chronicled his life and his preparation for the 2016 ‘Summer Olympics.’ The series aired on ‘E!’ for a season, encompassing eight episodes from April 21 to May 27, 2013.
He has also appeared in an episode of the American satirical TV sitcom ‘30 Rock’ titled ‘Stride of Pride.’ He appeared in a guest role in the American teen drama ‘90210. He also appeared in season 23 of the American dance competition series ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in 2016.