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Ryan Lochte is an American swimmer who has won 11 Olympic medals in the sport, including five golds.
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Born in Canandaigua, New York on August 3, 1984, Ryan Lochte started swimming at the age of 5. Soon after, his family moved to Florida so that his father could coach swimming, and Lochte began taking classes under his father and competing in Junior Olympics tournaments. He has since won 11 Olympic medals, including five golds; seven NCAA championships; and 51 major international medals. Most recently, at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Lochte won two gold medals,
in the 400-meter individual medley and 4-by-200-meter freestyle team event; and two silver medals, in the 4-by-100-meter freestyle relay team event and 200-meter individual medley (losing to Michael Phelps).
Ryan Lochte was born in Canandaigua, New York, in 1984. His father was a swim coach, so Lochte started swimming at an early age. According to his parents, Lochte had a great feel for the water by the age of 5 or 6. During his junior year of high school, Lochte realized that he was in fact good enough to pursue a career as a professional swimmer.
After graduation, he attended the University of Florida, where he was named NCAA Swimmer of the Year twice and swam his way to victory countless times, becoming a seven-time NCAA champion. He was also seven-time SEC champion and a 24-time All-American.
Lochte first qualified for the Olympics in 2004, held in Athens, Greece. That year, he swam with Michael Phelps, Klete Keller and Peter Vanderkaay to capture the gold medal in the 4-by-200–meter freestyle relay. He also won the silver—placing just behind Phelps—in the 200-meter individual medley. Later that year, at the FINA Short Course World Championships, Lochte won the bronze in the 200-meter freestyle, the silver in the 200-meter individual medley and the gold in the 4-by-200–meter freestyle relay.
At the 2005 World Aquatics Championships, Lochte won the bronze medal in both the 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley, as well as the gold in the 4-by-200–meter freestyle relay, with Phelps, Vanderkaay and Keller. The next year, at the Short Course World Championships, Lochte won six medals, including three gold, and set world records in the 200-meter individual medley, and both the 100- and 200-meter backstroke. Also in 2006, at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships—during his senior year at the University of Florida—Lochte broke the NCAA record in the 400-yard individual medley, which had been set by Tom Dolan nearly a decade earlier.
In 2007, Lochte continued his torrid pace in the pool, setting his first individual long-course world record as he won the gold in the 200-meter backstroke at the World Aquatic Championships. By 2008, Lochte was more than ready to take on the rest of the world in the Beijing Games.
In Beijing, Lochte won two gold and two bronze medals, and set world records in the 200-meter backstroke and 4-by-200–meter freestyle relay. His success continued beyond the Games, at both the 2009 and 2010 World Aquatics Championships. Between the two, he won 10 gold medals (six at the 2009 event, a record in itself) and a silver and bronze medal, and set two more world records.
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