This was supposed to be Ryan Lochte’s Olympics. He was supposed to gracefully take over for Michael Phelps as the face of Team USA swimming.
Let’s just say that hasn’t exactly happened thus far in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
After an outstanding start in which he bested Phelps in the 400 individual medley, he cost Team USA another gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay, getting overtaken by another swimmer on the last leg of the race after being handed a lead by his teammates.
Then, he only managed to finish fourth in the 200-meter freestyle, an event he usually dominates.
If he can’t regain his momentum from his hot start, this could turn ugly for the promising American swimmer.
He still has time to make this a very memorable Olympic games, since he’s competing in up to three more events.
So, full judgment should be withheld until after his Olympic schedule is done. But right now, it’s hard to say he’s performed up to expectations.
He obviously earns an “A” in the 400 IM, winning a gold medal and beating Phelps, but the rest of his races have been disappointing.
He gets an “F” for his performance in the 4x100 relay, losing a lead and ruining the hard work his teammates did earlier in the race.
Missing out on a medal in the 200 free was devastating for Lochte, who was the world champion in that event. For that performance, he also earns an “F.”
Lochte’s struggles have been puzzling, to say the least. Is he struggling because he slacked off during training? Or, could it be that he was overconfident after starting the Olympics with a surprising gold?
Whatever the case may be, Lochte hasn’t performed the way Team USA and the rest of America expected him to perform.
He’s going to need to win another gold and medal in each of his remaining events to prevent himself from becoming one of the biggest disappointments of the London Olympics.