With exactly one month to go until the Opening Ceremonies kick-off the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Rant Sports will be spotlighting some of the incredible athletes who will represent the United States of America in London.
First up is an American swimmer whom many believe will be this year’s big winner, Ryan Lochte.
During the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, all eyes were on the American swimmer, Michael Phelps, and his successful quest for a record eight gold medals.
Four years later, during the the 2012 Olympic Games in London, all eyes will shift towards fellow American swimmer, Ryan Lochte.
Lochte is currently believed by many to be the best swimmer in the world.
Lochte began swimming at the age of 5, and was coached by his dad. His future in the sport didn’t always looks promising, however. His father recalls how he used to have to kick him out of class for splashing the other kids, blowing bubbles in the water, hiding at the other end of the pool, among other things.
Everything changed when he turned 14, however. After a tough loss in the Junior Olympics, Lochte decided that he was “sick of losing” and decided to turn things around, and that he did.
A few years later, he earned the NCAA Male Swimmer of the Year twice while swimming for the University of Florida before beginning his successful professional career.
Today, the 27-year-old has won a total of 57 total medals in major international competitions, including 6 Olympic medals.
Lochte won his first Olympic medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens as a member of the 4×200 m relay team, and earned a bronze in the 200 m individual medley.
Four years later, though his success at the 2008 Olympics was overshadowed by Phelps’ record-setting victories, Lochte left Beijing with 4 medals of his own (2 gold and 2 bronze) including his first gold in an individual event, the 200 m medley.
Since then, Lochte has been dominating the competition and has risen to the top of the sport.
At the 2011 World Champions, Lochte took home five gold medals and one bronze medal. At the end of the year, he was named both the World Swimmer of the Year and the American Swimmer of the Year (Swimming World magazine) for the second consecutive time.
Earlier this week, while participating in the Olympic Swim Trials, he qualified for the 2012 London Olympics after defeating Michael Phelps in the 400 m individual medley. Though it was the first time he had ever defeated Phelps in the event, he has a beaten the reigning Olympic champion in their last 3 major meets.
The Olympic Trials continue through the end of this week, but Lochte hopes to participate in as many events as possible next month in London.
In one month from today, Lochte will be competing against the best swimmers in the world, on the biggest stage in the world, with the eyes of the world watching.
Will he withstand the pressure and become America’s new Olympic hero?
Join us tomorrow as we shine the spotlight on another member of Team USA 2012.