American swimmer Ryan Lochte has been one of the country’s top swimmers for nearly a decade.But this summer he truly emerged, dominating Michael Phelps and the rest of the world at the World Championships in Shanghai.
He’s already won three Olympic gold medals. But now he’s poised to become one of the biggest stars of next summer’s London Olympics.
Lochte was born in 1984 in Canandaigua, New York. His mum (Ileana) and dad (Steve) were both swimmers and coaches
When he was 11, his family moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, where his dad coached a club swimming team
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
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
In 2006, he signed a 10-year contract with Speedo and stayed at Florida to train alongside his old college team
He won 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
Lochte dominated the Shanghai meet, winning five gold medals and, more importantly, beating Michael Phelps head-to-head in two different races.
In the 200-meter individual medley, Lochte beat his own world record -- becoming the first swimmer to set a world record in any event since high tech suits were banned in 2009.
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