Meet Ryan Lochte, The Olympic Swimming Sensation Who's Going To Make Everyone Forget About Michael Phelps

team usa olympic swimmer ryan lochte

Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Ryan Lochte announced himself on the world stage when he dominated the World Championships last summer.Since then, his star has continued to rise.

His big personality, good looks, and unmistakable talent have made him one of the biggest names going into the 2012 Olympics.

He’s already won three Olympic gold medals. But now he’s poised to become the American athlete who stands out in London.

Lochte was born in 1984 in Canandaigua, New York. His mum (Ileana) and dad (Steve) were both swimmers and coaches

Lochte says the only thing he remembers about his first swim meet is the Gatorade bottle filled with Twizzlers, Skittles, and other candy that his mum packed him

Source: YouTube

Ryan graduated from Spruce Creek High School in 2002. He then attended the University of Florida

Lochte raced in his first Olympics in 2004 in Athens. He won a gold medal in the 4x200-freestyle relay, and a silver in the 200-meter individual medley

Remember this iconic photo from '04? Lochte is on the right

In 2006, he signed a 10-year contract with Speedo and stayed at Florida to train alongside his old college team

Source: Swimming World

In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing Lochte doubled his medal total from 2004, winning two golds and two bronzes, setting the world record in the 200-meter backstroke over American Aaron Peirsol

Ryan took a huge leap after the 2008 Olympics. He won the Golden Goggles Award for Male Athlete of the Year in both 2009 and 2010

He continued his run in the 2011 World Championships, winning five gold medals and setting a world record in the 200m IM

He also beat Michael Phelps head-to-head in two races, taking his crown as the best American male swimmer

Now he's one of America's biggest break-out stars going into the Olympics. He was on the cover of Vogue...

...And he went on the Today Show to model Team USA's opening ceremony athletes

BONUS #1: His quick rise to fame has paid off, here's his car

BONUS #2: Lochte as a little kid (far left)

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