Monday, July 30, 2012

Ryan Lochte: still surfing Michael Phelps coattails post 400 IM win

Back from the Alcatraz race - I couldn't blog while I was away but I was indeed watching when Ryan Lochte handed Michael Phelps his "bum" in the 400 IM. Now, despite handily beating him by an astonishing four-seconds the front page of the New York Times gave the top billing to Phelps rather  than Ryan Lochte.

The headline read:  "Phelps lags behind Lochte and misses a medal!" Note, Michael Phelps was the news and Lochte relegated as the minor player rather than the "dragon slayer" - [Link]

In the 4x100 free we actually exceeded expectations destroying the Australians; (like guitars ;-) Their best guy James Magnussen had been mouthing off a bit targeting Phelps as an opponent he was going to enjoy beating but that prediction proved ineffectual.

Though the French looked much better on paper than the USA, It was the United States that led the whole way till Yannick Agnel went "Lezak" on Lochte. I suspect that if Jason Lezak would have been swimming that leg he would have had the experience and the heart to hold that lead handed to him by Cullen Jones.

The first person interviewed after the race was Michael Phelps rather than Ryan Lochte. Phelps was gracious and obviously did his part rather well. The race was a definite disappointment when you saw what a lead Lochte was handed. Here was a chance for Lochte to be the icing on the cake and be appreciated for stepping in but per his admission, "this is not my specialty" was not only accurate but it was definitely not a classy thing to say especially when you follow it up we are the "best four guys."

Ryan Lochte may still be a breakout swimmer with lots of endorsements and face time but apparently he needs Michael Phelps whereas Michael Phelps doesn't need anybody.


Bill Ireland said...

I really don't understand two things about the 4 x 100 relay. First, how did the Aussies do so poorly. On paper, that was a team that should have won easily. Second, why was Lochte on the team instead of Matt Greber? Lochte had a good 400 IM. A very good 400 IM but Greber went a 47.5 swimming in the morning and earned the spot. If Greber had gone the same time as in the morning, then the US still would have lost narrowly but it would have been nice to have the fastest AM swimmer on the relay. I can understand your point about Lezak but I am mystified by putting Lochte on the relay. I am presuming that Greber would have done it--its possible he asked off because of the 100 Back semifinal, but he qualified so easily in the Back that it seems like he could have given it a shot.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Bill; Grevers came in 3rd in 100 free trials should have been the guy to complete the foursome not Lochte.

Tony Austin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony Austin said...

I am deleting my comment. New information has changed my mind.

Anonymous said...

Phelps changed the sport and everyone rides his coattails. Lochte has no coattails and never will.

The only thing proving worse than Lochte's sprinting are his post-race interviews. Never thanks his coach or family (does he even have a family?) and never praises his competitors. He's an arrogant punk and a poor ambassador for the sport.