After winning five medals, including two gold, in London, Ryan Lochte has been on a whirlwind tour of life outside the pool. He took time out from an appearance at an AT&T store in Orlando to talk to Fourth-Place Medal about London, acting on television, getting back to the pool and a challenge for Seth MacFarlane.
Fourth-Place Medal: When you look back at London, do you consider it a success?
Ryan Lochte: I'd have to go 50/50 on that. Whenever I step up on the blocks, I go out to win. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. I'm so humbled that I was able to get five Olympic medals and bring it back to my country.
FPM: Did you see "Saturday Night Live's" bit by Seth MacFarlane about you?
RL: I did see it. I know that they kind of bashed on me, but at the same time it was kind of flattering. Anyone who gets made fun of on SNL, it goes to show, you made it. You're the talk. I guess that's a plus. But after watching that, anytime Seth wants to get in the pool and race me, I'll be more than happy to. We might have to set that up.
FPM: What have you been up to since getting back from London?
RL: I just started getting back into training for Rio, but in the past two months, I've been able to do some things I wasn't able to do, like cameos for "90210" and "30 Rock." I was doing a bunch of stuff for E!, being a correspondent for Fashion Week. Pretty much going all over the place.
FPM: What were the acting gigs like?
RL: It was a lot of fun! My first cameo with "90210" was really nerve-wracking. It was the first actin gig I've ever done. "30 Rock" was really fun. Alec Baldwin, a tremendous, great actor, a great human being. He really helped me a lot on set. He made being on-set a lot easier. It wasn't nerve-wracking. We were just having a good time.
FPM: What was Fashion Week like?
RL: After swimming is done, I want to design my own fashion line. That's my passion. I definitely went to different fashion shows and talked to designers to see if they could help me out. They gave me some insight on how to start my own fashion line.
FPM: What were the designers like? Were they helpful?
RL: They were all really helpful. They all said you have to listen to yourself. You can't listen to what everyone else wants you to do. You have to believe in yourself and keep going from there. They said it is very time-consuming.
FPM: What will your fashion line focus on?
RL: Definitely thinking of men's apparel and accessories. That's something I've kind dabbled in a little in the past four years. It's something I really want to get into when swimming is done.
FPM: Does that mean we will soon see Ryan Lochte-licensed grills?
RL: I don't know yet. It would be part of accessories. Maybe I'll have a little kids grill when they go their little swim meets across the country.
FPM: What was the most challenging part of the last two months?
RL: I don't know if anything was really the most challenging, because everything was helpful to me, to my life, to my business life. It was fun. It was taking me out of my normal atmosphere of being in the pool every day. It was cool. I guess the hardest thing was time management. I still wanted to train. I haven't been able to train as much as I had in the past, but being able to travel all day on a plane, getting off, doing an appearance, then getting back on a plane and traveling back home? That was hard. I don't think I've recovered from the jet lag of London still because of the non-stop. It's a whirlwind.
FPM: But now you're back in the pool.
RL: I started back into training last week. This is the longest break I've taken since I was 8 years old. Getting back into shape is not fun. I wasn't myself in the pool. We train every day. When we don't train for two days, you don't feel good in the water for about a week long. Imagine taking two months off. When you get back in the water, you're feeling really, really bad. It takes a while to get into shape.
FPM: Do you see Rio being your final Olympics?
RL: I always told everyone the reason I swim is because it's fun. Once that stops, I will quit swimming. Honestly, I don't see that stopping anytime soon. So, after Rio, I set my goal for Rio and if I still feel good, I'll go another four years.
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