In an interview taped by NBC before he changed his hair color, reporter David Feherty asks Ryan Lochte how he felt about swimming in the Michael Phelps era and Lochte gave a surprisingly honest answer:
“My career would definitely be different,” Lochte said. “I guess you would say I would be the Michael Phelps of swimming if he wasn’t there. But at the same time, I love a challenge, and that’s why I do the events that I do and going up against him is a challenge.”
You can see the entire interview here.
But it’s not as though Lochte has had an underwhelming career. He is a 12-time Olympic medalist -- including six gold medals -- and he’ll swim for gold again, with Phelps in the field, in the men’s 200-meter IM final at the Olympics Thursday night at 10 p.m.