London 2012: Why Ryan Lochte Will Outshine Michael Phelps in London

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJune 27, 2012

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 26:  (L-R) Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps look on after they competed in the second semifinal heat of the Men's 200 m Freestyle during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on June 26, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Michael Phelps warranted all eyes in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games, but it is Ryan Lochte's time to shine at the London Games.

Phleps' quest for eight gold medals in Beijing will be the last great accomplishment of his Olympic career, as he will play second fiddle for the Americans at the 2012 Olympic Games, behind his rival, Lochte.

By now the story of Michael Phelps' struggles have spread. He wants to stop swimming, and will retire after the London Games, as he said in this "60 Minutes" interview.

He hasn't been training hard, and "blatantly ignored his coach's training plan" (per Amy Shipley of the Washington Post). He is not in great shape right now, which is why he has been struggling.

Lochte, however, is at the top of his game after years of intense training. He has been beating Phelps in Olympic qualifying and during competitions, including the 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter freestyle.

Phelps struggled at the Charlotte Grand Prix in May, and has not looked like he is in top form. This is not the same athlete that won a record eight gold medals just four years ago, and he will not be able to come anywhere close to that total in London.

Phelps was once the best swimmer in the world, but now he is not even the best swimmer in the United States.

Lochte's rivalry with Phelps was one-sided, but Lochte has worked hard to beat Phelps, and is now succeeding.

The two will duke it out in the pool in London, and Lochte will be the better of the two thanks to his constant training.

There is the counter-argument that Phelps is not yet in shape, which is perfectly true. He is not yet in shape, and he won't be in time for the Games.

Lochte, on the other hand, is still improving, and is in the best shape of his life. Phelps will be far from 100 percent by the time the Games roll around, which will cost him the title of world's best swimmer, and even the best in his home country.

Make sure to keep an eye on Lochte in London, as he proves that he is currently a better swimmer than Phelps.