I had to interrupt the Blogger Book Fair for this recent bit of breaking news. In the wake of the much anticipated showdown of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the 400 IM, Ryan Lochte comes out victorious! Congratulations, Ryan! For years he has been swimming in Michael’s shadow, just barely making it behind the world’s greatest swimmer, but not this time. Ryan deserves the hard earned gold that he has won. In an article about the event, it says:
LONDON – For weeks, months, and years, we waited for this Ryan Lochte in the Olympic Games. We waited for him to finally dominate, so we could stop feeling sorry that he lived in the time of Michael Phelps. We waited for him to finally solve his own imbalanced equation – one part supreme talent, one part slacker, zero parts assassin.
Now we know: Ryan Lochte was waiting, too.
And four years ago, after failing to realize expectations that he would challenge Phelps in Beijing, he stopped waiting and started changing. And that’s how Saturday night happened — Lochte shredding the field in the brutal 400-meter individual medley and taking gold-medal real estate that had belonged only to Phelps in the last two Olympic Games. And it wasn’t even close, with Lochte finishing 3.68 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor and 4.10 seconds ahead of Phelps. On top of that, Lochte’s 4:05.18 is the fastest the 400 IM has ever been swum without the high-tech swimsuits that were banned in 2008.
[ Photos: Lochte vs. Phelps in the 400m medley ]
This time around, Lochte charged out in the first 50 meters — too hard by his own estimation — and was never seriously challenged after the 150-meter mark. This despite keeping a constant eye on the scoreboard the entire race. That’s how the “duel in the pool” between Phelps and Lochte became nothing more than a transfer of power — a coronation for a guy who is aiming to ascend to the top of the U.S. swimming throne. And we likely should have seen it coming when Phelps barely qualified for the event in preliminaries. After it was over, Phelps congratulated Lochte on keeping the 400 IM in U.S. hands, despite his own disappointment at not being able to do the job himself.
Go Ryan! I wouldn’t feel bad for Michael, though. He has sixteen medals, fourteen of those gold! I wish I had an Olympic gold medal! Ha! Yeah, in my dreams. =o) And on that note, I will end this post with a promo video Ryan did called Ryan Lochte, My Journey: