Interview: Ryan Lochte

Olympic gold medal-swimming swimmer Ryan Lochte chats about finding the perfect woman, and his new reality show, What Would Ryan Lochte Do? premiering on 28 May on E!

Tell us about your reality show.

My show is shot docu-style, where the cameras follow my everyday life. Of course training for Rio is a huge part of the show and the biggest reason why I wanted to do a reality show, but swimming does not define me. So you will see me going out on dates, partying with my friends, and spending time with my crazy, amazing family. It’s interesting because it’s a reality show, but we break that fourth wall, which hasn’t really been done before. I was shooting one of my first scenes and something crazy happened and I had forgotten the camera was there so I looked at the producer and said, “Did you just see that!?!” and wanted to start over. He was like, “No, no, keep going.” Ultimately, I wanted to bring swimming into the living rooms of everyone in America, on more than just a “once every four years” basis. It’s the most-watched sport in the Summer Games, yet we only get it once every four years. What’s up with that? Why can’t it be like the NFL, NBA, MLB?

What three things are we going to learn about you in What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

My drive and dedication to the sport, how much of a family man I am, and how I am a hopeless romantic.

Have you taken inspiration from the Kardashians and do you want to be as famous as them?  

I’m not trying to be like anyone, but to make a difference and have as big of an impact as they do?  Who wouldn’t want that.

On your reality show we see you looking for love - do you want to get a steady girlfriend and settle down?

I do—I am looking for my one true love. I know it sounds cheesy, but I am.

What is your ideal woman? And do you have any turn-offs?

Ideal woman: someone who isn’t afraid to be herself. I like girls who really don’t care what other people are thinking, girls who are a little goofy. I think that’s sexy. Turn-offs: smokers

Who would be your perfect celebrity woman and why?

Celebrity crush: Jennifer Lawrence. I was watching “Silver Linings Playbook” and was like, “Damn, she’s sexy!”

In the trailer for the series, your sister says "Ryan is a little naive when it comes to women" - would you say that is correct, and if so, in what way?

Well Kristen is always going to think that, she’s the hard one to get by. But you know, I don’t know if I would call it being naïve. I think maybe I’m just a little too optimistic? I hope for the best in every situation and want to see the good in people.

If you took us out on a date, what would we do? Dinner? Movie? Home-cooking? Pool party?

Definitely a really great steak dinner (I love good food, steak especially) and a really great bottle of wine. And a movie at home. I don’t like a big fuss, I think the best dates come from real connections.

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