Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has been making the media rounds since wining five medals at the 2012 London Olympics, but the 28-year-old insists that he’s more interested in returning to training for future competitions than focusing on an acting career.
According to Lochte, his brief stop in Hollywood following the summer Olympics was to help raise his sport’s profile, and it appears to have worked, since he is considered the most visible Olympian to emerge from the summer games.
He has worked as a fashion correspondent for TV’s “Extra” during New York Fashion Week, was spoofed by Seth MacFarlane on the season opener of “Saturday Night Live”, presented at the Alma Awards, introduced Lil Wayne at the I Heart Radio concert in Las Vegas and even filmed cameos for “30 Rock”.
Lochte said, “My main goal is to make swimming bigger than what it is, or what it was back in 2008, and the only way I can do that is by going and doing cameos, being on talk shows, doing all those little things to help bring people aware that like, just bring them into swimming more. Honestly. The only time you ever hear about swimming is during the Olympics. I say to myself and to other people: Why can’t swimming be like the NBA or the NFL or something like that, because we do have those big championship meets once a year, so why can’t be we have that [attention]?”
In addition to trying to raise awareness for swimming, Lochte helped to raise funds for Water for People, which provides drinking water sources to developing nations that lack them.
Lochte also says he does find getting in front of a camera nerve-racking. “I can go up on the blocks and swim in front of millions and millions of people, no problem, and perform at my best. But getting in front of a camera and doing a little acting? That is nerve-racking,” he said.
He is currently preparing for his next swimming competition, which will take place in December.