Photo Credit: Kelly Wallace/iVillage
When a reporter asked Ryan Lochte if he'd consider doing Dancing with the Stars, I thought, to quote the Brits, "How brilliant." Ryan is a superstar, his Twitter following has grown by hundreds of thousands over the past week alone and he's a favorite of the female fans. Even more brilliant was when Ryan suggested the person he'd most like to go up against if he went on the hit reality show.
"I mean since I am so used to competing against Michael Phelps, yeah, I’d have him on the show," said Ryan. Hello, DWTS producers, can you spell ratings bonanza!
Ryan took more questions (many from me!), revealing what he's looking for in a woman, whether he'll compete in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, and how much his mom, Ike Lochte, has helped him achieve all that he has, including winning five medals, two golds, two silvers and a bronze, here in London. Check out what Ryan had to say below:
The Perfect Woman?
"Honestly, someone that I can trust, I think trust is something really important, and they have to be able to make me smile," said Ryan, who is viewed as one of the most eligible bachelors on Team USA. "I was always told to enjoy life and have fun with it so I definitely, with my partner, I definitely want to have fun with them. I want them to be my best friend and my lover at the same time." And what about all those proposals he's received via Twitter? "Yeah," he said and laughed, "I don’t know how to answer those kind of tweets."
Competing Without Phelps?
"It's going to be weird. I mean, ever since I really got on the Olympic stage, I’ve been racing against Michael and now that he’s gone, I’m gonna miss him," said the 28-year-old. "He’s one of the toughest competitors I've ever had to race against but ... there (are) other swimmers out there, not just Michael so I really got to just focus on myself and get ready for Rio."
Rio in 2016?
"Oh yeah, that was my long-term goal ... going to 2016 and you know, if I am still having fun, at 2016, I’m going to go another four years," he added.
How Much Has Mom Helped?
"She’s been there through thick and thin," said Ryan, a self-declared mama's boy. "She’s supported me, she’s my biggest fan and she’s been there ever since I was born and every major competition, she’s been there cheering for me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today or the athlete if it wasn’t for her, and she’s beautiful and I love her and she’s crying," he said with a laugh as he looked at his mom in the front row wiping tears from her eyes.
Plans to Party Around London?
"I am going to take a little break. I think the longest break I’ve had in the past eight years has been a week out of the pool so I am definitely going to take more than a week, maybe two weeks, and just relax," he said with a smile. "I had a birthday a couple of days ago ... and all I wanted was just to hang out with my family, they're all here, so just relaxing with them is me having a party."
How It Feels To Give Back?
"It means everything, I mean I love helping other people out, and now that I have that opportunity to give back to the community, it's everything, it is dear to my heart, and I want to keep giving back to the community for as long as I live," he said.
Before Ryan took questions at the P&G Family Home, a check of $25,000 in his name was donated by one of his chief sponsors, Gillette, to the U.S. Olympic Committee to benefit youth sports programs around the country. Ryan also enjoyed a ceremonial shave and was given a diamond encrusted razor because, Gillette's president Patrice Louvet said, "Rumor has it you like to have new bling." At that point, Ryan pulled out one of his jeweled mouth guards for the photo-op.
The cost of Kelly's travel to London was paid by Procter & Gamble.