He may be known around the world as an Olympic gold-medal swimmer, but don’t tell Ryan Lochte he can’t dance.
The Team USA heartthrob has spent the past four years of his life training every day to compete in the London Olympic Games but now that his swimming days are done, for now at least, he’s facing a new reality, one that might include reality TV.
“I’d definitely have to go with ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” Lochte, 28, told “Good Morning America” today of which reality show he might pursue to build on his current fame. “It’s a competition and I have that competitive edge in me.”
Lochte’s Team USA swimming teammate and rival, Michael Phelps, has also said he would be open to competing on the ABC reality series, setting up a potential showdown between the 18-Olympic medal winner Phelps, and 11-Olympic medal winner Lochte for another trophy in their case, the mirror ball trophy.
Other Olympic medalists like gymnast Shawn Johnson, beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor and soccer player Hope Solo have also strutted their stuff on the show but Lochte, known for his over-the-top ways, may look to a reality show of his very own to give fans a glimpse into his life.
“It’d probably definitely wouldn’t be your normal reality TV show because I’m not definitely not your normal guy,” Lochte said.
If Lochte does decide to trade his Speedos for the glitter of “DWTS,” he’ll have to get used to harsh criticism from judges like Len Goodman and Bruno Roeber after years of being his own harshest critic in the pool.
“I would always like to put myself as an ‘A’ student so I’d say these games were like an A-,” Lochte said of his London performance. ” I thought there was still room for improvement, but I’m going home to my country with five Olympic medals and I’m really happy about that.”
In Lochte’s six events in London, he won two golds — one in the 400-meter individual medley and one with the 4×200 freestyle relay squad — two silvers in the 200 IM and the 4×100 free relay, and a bronze in the 200 backstroke. He was fourth in the 200 free.
That record made even his competitors, like fellow Team USA swimmer Connor Dwyer, proud.
“Ryan showed me the ropes the past three years, training with him and helping me to get to this level,” said Dwyer, 23, who attended the University of Florida with Lochte and joined him on the gold-medal winning 4×200 freestyle relay. “I think it’s something special for us to be in an era with some of the greatest swimmers and athletes of all time.”
Dwyer agreed that a Lochte reality TV show would be “pretty interesting,” but both swimmers are also looking ahead to the reality of more laps in the pool to prepare for future Olympic games.
“My biggest goal is going for another four years in Rio and, you know what, I told people, if I’m still having fun I’m going to go for another four years after that,” Lochte said.