London 2012: Swimmer Ryan Lochte, on verge of leap into the deep end

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ryan Lochte finished his career at the University of Florida six years ago, but never really left campus, never said a firm good-bye to his youth. He still wearily stumbles into the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for dawn workouts at the same pool, under the same coach, to train with a slightly different cast of undergraduates every year. He still rides his skateboard, shares a house near campus with a couple of guys and tools around in his Range Rover.

He remains a big kid in a burgeoning superstar’s body in a college town, trying to balance the fun that has always defined him with the demands of his increasing celebrity and new burden of maintaining his stature as the world’s most dominant swimmer – especially as Michael Phelps makes a push this summer to reclaim that position.

Lochte, 27, can’t wait to get out. During a recent pool workout, he flagrantly cheated when he fell behind during drills, executing flip turns in the middle of the pool to catch up. He’s already planning to move into a penthouse apartment near the beach in Southern California after the London Summer Games. read more[..]