Ryan Lochte - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ryan Lochte

(WALB) -

Were it not for the existence of Michael Phelps, 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte might have been considered the best swimmer in the world over the last decade or so.

But Lochte, a three-time Olympian, has managed to make a name for himself — with his free-spiritedness and catchphrase “jeah” helping him to capture attention in London — despite often swimming in Phelps’ colossal shadow.

The 31-year-old has changed his training base since London, moving from Gainesville, Florida — where he had spent more than a decade — to Charlotte, North Carolina, where his training has become more sprint-focused under his new coach, whom Lochte calls the "scientist of swimming."

In Rio, the five-time Olympic gold medalist should contend for more hardware, especially in the 200m individual medley, which he won at the 2015 World Championships for his fourth straight world title in the event.

But he’s never won an Olympic gold in the 200m IM, taking two silvers and a bronze in the event at the last three Olympics — all of which were won by Phelps.

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