Why Isn’t Ryan Lochte at the 2021 Olympics?

Ryan Lochte reacts after competing in the Men's 200m individual medley final during Day Six of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials

Getty Ryan Lochte reacts after competing in the Men's 200m individual medley final during Day Six of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials

A familiar face will not be in the pool for the swimming events at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Find out why Ryan Lochte is not among the Team USA swimmers and what he has said about his gold medal-winning swimming career.


Lochte Didn’t Qualify for the 2021 Olympics

In 2021, Lochte tried to qualify for his fifth Olympic games. He previously competed at the 2004 Athens games, the 2008 Beijing games, the 2012 London games, and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. His Olympic medal count stands at six gold medals, three silver medals, and three bronze medals. He is tied for second-most decorated Olympic swimming in history behind only Michael Phelps; the other swimmers with 12 total medals include Natalie Coughlin, Dana Torres, and Jenny Thompson.

Lochte participated in the 2021 Olympic trials in an attempt to qualify for Team USA but finished a disappointing seventh in the 200m individual medley, an event where he is still holds the world record in both the long (50 meters) and short (25 meters) courses — his record is 1.54 on the long course and 1.49 on the short course.

But in 2021, Lochte would have needed to finish in the top two to go to Tokyo; instead, Michael Andrew and Chase Kalisz will represent Team USA in the 200m individual medley in Tokyo.

After he failed to qualify, Lochte told NBC Sports that this isn’t the end for his swimming career, but he doesn’t see himself qualifying for another Olympics.

“This ain’t the end of the road. There’s a lot more I want to accomplish in the sport of swimming, whether it’s in the pool or outside the pool making swimming bigger,” said Lochte. “I still want to race, but as far as another Olympic Trials, I don’t know about that. I’ll be 40. That’s pushing it, but we’ll see. I mean, anything can happen. I can take years off and come back and be stronger than ever, who knows.”

And Lochte doesn’t have any hard feelings toward his fellow Team USA swimmers about qualifying for the games. He recently wrote on Instagram, “The Olympics are finally here! Me and the family will be watching every minute cheering team #USA on! Good luck to all athletes competing in this summer Olympics! Cherish every moment!”


Lochte Has Had His Share of Scandals Over the Years

At the 2016 Olympics, Lochte became embroiled in scandal when he and three other U.S. swimmers, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, claimed they were robbed by armed men with police badges. It later came out that the swimmers were intoxicated and were vandalizing a gas station when they were confronted by security guards when they tried to run off.

Ultimately, Lochte was suspended from swimming for 10 months and the other swimmers were suspended for four months. Lochte was also ordered to perform 20 hours of community service, according to ESPN.

Out of the pool, Lochte had a short-lived reality show called “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” and also competed on “Celebrity Big Brother” season two and “Dancing With the Stars” season 23. The swimmer finished in 10th place on “Big Brother” and seventh place on “Dancing With the Stars” alongside professional partner Cheryl Burke.

The 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics take place from Friday, July 23 until the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, August 8. “Dancing With the Stars” season 30 premieres Monday, September 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

READ NEXT: The 2021 Olympics Gymnastics Schedule


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