Ryan Lochte Speaks Out After Not Qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics: 'I'm Not Retiring'

Charlie Neibergall/AP/Shutterstock Ryan Lochte

Ryan Lochte isn't going anywhere.

On Thursday, swimmer, 36, shared a video on Instagram promising fans that, despite failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, he isn't planning to back away from the sport just yet.

"I've had a few days at home to get my emotions in line, because after Olympic trials my emotions have been a rollercoaster ride; up, down, all around," the 12-time Olympic medalist said in the clip.

He filmed his message from the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at his alma mater, the University of Florida - the place where he said, "my swimming career all started."

"I didn't want this video to be a sappy video," Lochte said. "I'm not done. I'm not retiring. There's so much more I want to do in the sport of swimming, whether it's in the pool or outside of the pool trying to grow the sport, because the love and passion that I have - I want to grow the sport. I want to put swimming in people's living rooms all the time. So, I'm still going to be doing that. I'm still going to be in the sport, and I'm still going to be trying to teach kids how to swim."

Try as he might, the athlete couldn't help but get sentimental, offering messages of gratitude to those who have stood by him.

"I want to say thank you to my family," Lochte said. "When I fell down, you guys picked me back up and said, 'Keep fighting and striving for greatness, trying to become a better man every day.' So, thank you."

The athlete also thanked his fans and sponsors, adding: "The messages I've been getting have been so heartfelt and it has been touching me in so many ways."

RELATED: Ryan Lochte Fails to Qualify for Tokyo Olympics in Comeback Bid, But Says He's Not Done Racing

Lochte concluded his message with a shoutout to Team USA and all the athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics, saying: "I already know you guys are going to kick ass."

"One thing I love about the Olympics is it's one time in the world where everyone comes together to do one thing: compete," he said. "It doesn't matter what race you are, it doesn't matter what color you are. It's everyone coming together, and I love that. I'm sad that I won't be there, but I'll be there in spirit and heart. I'll be watching and cheering you on..."

"This is just a new chapter and a new beginning, and I'm excited," he added.

RELATED: Swimmer Ryan Lochte Turned to Former Teammate Michael Phelps for Help Ahead of 2021 Olympic Trials

Maddie Meyer/Getty Ryan Lochte

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This year's Tokyo Olympics will mark the first time Lochte has missed a Summer Games since 2004.

The journey to the trials was a long road for the seasoned athlete. Lochte was suspended from the U.S. national swim team for 10 months following a drunken incident at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in which he damaged a gas station sign and falsely reported he was robbed at gunpoint. Charges against Lochte were ultimately dismissed, but his suspension stood and he lost all of his major sponsors.

He was suspended again in 2018 for violating a restriction on IV use. Later that year, he entered a month-long rehab program for alcohol after a run-in with police at his California hotel room.

RELATED VIDEO: Ryan Lochte Wants to 'Prove Everyone Wrong' by Competing in Olympics: Says He's 'Different' Now

Lochte previously spoke to PEOPLE about his preparations for the Games, sharing that he'd made it to every single swim practice at a quarantine-friendly facility near his family's Gainesville, Florida, home.

"I thought I was ready for 2020, and when they postponed it I started looking at the positive side of having another year under my belt," he said at the time. "I'm going to get stronger, mentally prepare myself even more, I'm just going to be a better athlete. I'm so excited because I have so much determination and I'm just ready to go!"