New chef, new coach, but same ‘goofball’ Ryan Lochte

Ryan Lochte
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1. Ryan Lochte has grown to enjoy eating greens with his new chef, who prepared meals for LeBron James for five years.

“This is what I wish I listened to when I was in college, or before that,” Lochte said. “How did I get those gold medals, how did I get to the Olympics eating all this crap?”

But Lochte sticks to his tradition of pizza and wings every Friday night.

2. After 11 years in Gainesville, Fla., Lochte moved to Charlotte in 2013 to work under a coach he calls a “mad scientist,” who would help him focus on shorter events.

“To start a new swimming career,” Lochte said.

But Lochte is again dipping his toes into his most time-consuming race from previous Olympic cycles, the grueling 400m individual medley.

3. Lochte said he considered quitting the sport twice following the London 2012 Games — after the burnout from his reality TV show and while sidelined after tearing a left knee ligament twice in a six-month span in 2013 and 2014.

“I had a lot of doubt that I was never going to be the same swimmer again,” he said.

But last year Lochte captured his fourth straight World title in the 200m individual medley. He left the World Championships as the only U.S. man with an individual gold medal.

Lochte, 31, is approaching what could be his fourth and final Olympics with some things old and some things new.

The 11-time Olympic medalist never pulls up his past races on YouTube. Lochte’s recollection of his first Olympics in 2004 is instead a little bit different.

“Long hair, eating McDonald’s, just being a total goofball,” he said. “I guess not much has changed, except for the long hair and eating McDonald’s.”

The friendly rivalry with Michael Phelps remains, too.

They went one-two in their first Olympic head-to-head in the Athens 2004 200m individual medley. Last year, Phelps and Lochte were the only two men in the world to break 1:56 in the 200m individual medley.

It’s been noted that Phelps can become the oldest individual Olympic swimming champion of all time in August. But Lochte is one year older than Phelps.

Lochte is mum on what he will race at the Olympic trials (like Phelps), how much longer he will continue swimming after the Rio Games (unlike Phelps) and if he’ll stay in Charlotte training under David Marsh after the Olympics.

An enduring Lochte trait is his spirited attitude toward his career, audible as he sings and makes animal noises in practice.

It will be time to hang up the cap and goggles when he no longer feels like that pool-deck goofball.

“When I wake up and I don’t want to go to a swimming pool,” Lochte said. “Once I start thinking that swimming is a job.”

VIDEO: New Michael Phelps Under Armour spot

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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