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Commentary: Swimming ‘bro’ Ryan Lochte hopefully won’t embarrass with new show

Courtesy of MCT

Members of the swimming community have known that Ryan Lochte is a “bro” for years now, and we love him for it. We love his bright green, winged shoes. We love his bizarre post-race interviews. We will even put up with his trademarked phrase “jeah” that he uses way too often. He is a bro, but he is at least our bro.

The rest of the world is about to get an up-close look at the bro that some swimmers have come to love when Lochte’s new reality TV show “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. on E!. 

The show follows the 11-time Olympic medalist as he tries to balance his intense workout regimen with his notoriously lavish social life.

If you watch a respectable amount of TV, then there is no doubt that you have seen an ad for the show. Each time I see one of the previews, I hope he doesn’t come off looking like an idiot. Yet somehow, usually through a series of “jeahs” and confused looks, I am let down. 

I have been deeply involved in the swimming community for the last decade, and there have been just two household swimming names during that time: Michael Phelps and Lochte

They are the two most important swimmers ever. Their fame has brought the entire sport to new levels of both popularity and quality. There are now some kids who dream of being the next Phelps or Lochte instead of the next Lebron James or Kobe Bryant.

But with Phelps off enjoying his well-deserved retirement on the golf course, the pressure to be the face of American swimming rests solely on the broad shoulders of Lochte. That is exactly what has me worried. I am worried that “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” is going to turn Lochte’s image into one big joke. Judging from the previews, the show will portray him in a way that will have people rolling their eyes at his every move.

Lochte has worked hard to earn his fame and fortune, so he should be able to spend it doing whatever he wants. But we all know how scripted these “reality” TV shows can be. I am sure that E! would have no trouble making him look however it wanted him to look. 

My hopes are that E! doesn’t dwell on all the “jeahs” or the time spent at the club. I hope it shows just how successful you can become from a sport as small as swimming. He lives an awesome life, E! doesn’t need to portray him as anything but that. 

 

Zack Holmes is a senior freestyler on Ohio State’s swimming and diving team.

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