What Would Ryan Lochte Do? He Tells Us
Ryan Lochte | Photo Credits: Don Juan Moore/E!
All together now: Jeah! Ryan Lochte will be back on your TV screens Sunday — sometimes in a Speedo, sometimes not — with his E! reality show What Would Ryan Lochte Do? (10/9c).
The eight-episode series follows the 11-time Olympic medalist as he searches for his one true love ("Maybe there's something wrong with me," he says in one episode), parties with his friends, hangs out with his family, attempts to launch a fashion line, competes in swimming meets and trains for the 2016 Rio Olympics in his home base of Gainesville, Fla. Usually in that order.
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"After the Olympics, it was something that I wanted, have my own show," Lochte tells TVGuide.com. "I want you to see me as who I am. During the Olympics, the biggest, most-watched sport is swimming. But people forget about us in the years before the next one. A lot of people don't know that we have world championships, Pan Pacs and these little meets in the U.S. that are televised. That's one of the reasons I wanted to do this — bring swimming into people's living rooms. I don't want the next time you think of me to be in Rio."
So what would Ryan Lochte do? He tells us in the only way he can.
What would Ryan Lochte do... with fame?
Embrace it, obviously. Now that he has his own show, he hopes to find reality superstardom like network-mate Kim Kardashian. "She started from nothing and now look at her," Lochte tells TVGuide.com. "She can't walk down the street without someone noticing her. You ask anyone in this whole entire world and they're gonna know who Kim Kardashian is. That's what I want. I like it. I like walking down the street and people asking me for my autograph or my picture. They're either fans or my swimming career or they're excited about the show."
What would Ryan Lochte do... if he had to choose between fame and swimming?
Well, he hopes he never has to. "I'm always a swimmer first, but I want to use this time because it's mine to be more famous," he says. "Maybe by the Olympics, I'll be bigger and swimming will be bigger. But when it's over, I want to be known as a swimmer. Because I love swimming."
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What would Ryan Lochte do... with fans?
Make time for them — after being humble. "Every time that happens, I question them, like, 'You really want my autograph and my picture?' It's all surprising because it might stop. But I don't want it to," he says. Lochte gets approached about 20 to 30 times a day and never turns anyone down. "Something happened to me as a little kid. My favorite Olympian turned me down. I was heartbroken, like my heart was all over the floor. I know what it feels like to be turned down and I told myself that if I'm ever in that position, I'd never do that. And it's fun because I meet new people every day."
What would Ryan Lochte do... to get back at Seth MacFarlane for that impression of him?
Race him, duh. "I settle things in the pool," he says with a laugh. Contrary to reports, Lochte was not upset with the parody. "It was cool. I got made fun of on [Saturday Night Live]. That means I made it."
What would Ryan Lochte do... in his spare time?
Play hard. In the premiere alone, he plays drunk golf, flag football (with a bet), goes bowling with his tight-knit family, throws a house party (during which he hits on a girl), goes to a bar (during which he asks a girl out) and goes on a date with said girl. "I like having a good time," Lochte says. "If all I did was swim and train, I would be crazy. And you probably wouldn't have heard of Ryan Lochte because I would've quit swimming. I need to chill out, go out with my friends, you know, have a life and turn it up and be living. But no matter what, I'm always there at practice the next morning."
What would Ryan Lochte do... with haters?
Hopefully change their impressions of him. Though Lochte ponders the definition of "d-----bag" in the premiere ("What is d-----bag? What is it? What's the definition of it? Like, I really don't know what it means."), he has since learned what it means. "People call me that stuff and they might watch to, you know, tease me and stuff, but I just want people to see that I'm a free spirit," he says. "I'm a fun-loving guy. But I'm also a worker who works hard and I love my family and my fans. One of the things on the show is that I'm trying to look for that special one, so I hope people know how that feels."
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What would Ryan Lochte do... to find his soul mate?
Anything. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for you), he's still single. "So you know how my dates on the show went," he cracks. So what do you have to do to become Mrs. Ryan Lochte? "If a girl can make me happy and smile, I'm pretty sold," he says. "That's like the key to my heart, making me smile and laugh. You can't get faster to my heart than that. She doesn't have to be into sports, but she has to be independent. She can't always be relying on me to make decisions and do things all the time. She has to be able to take care of herself. That's sexy. I need to be like, 'Hey, she's independent.' That'll get you the Lochte Edge."