Ryan Lochte offers gold medal to younger fan, says ‘I don’t know half the swimmers I’m swimming in opposition to’

It had been greater than a yr since he swam competitively, however Ryan Lochte nonetheless knew what to do when he received.

Lochte continued his custom of giving a younger fan his medal, doing so after he captured the 200-meter particular person medley gold on the U.S. nationwide championships Sunday with a time of 1:57.76.

He holds the gold within the occasion and it was his first nationwide championships victory since 2014. Lochte felt rusty however managed to shake sufficient off to win his lone last of the meet.

“It didn’t really feel good in any respect,” he stated with amusing. “I simply keep in mind years in the past it feeling a lot simpler, however I imply it’s a place to begin for me. Particularly since my daughter has been born, the previous 5 and a half to 6 weeks, I haven’t actually been on the pool.”

Lochte, who turned 35 on Saturday, stated he’s starting to really feel his aggressive edge returning — even when he has to channel it in opposition to swimmers he’s by no means confronted earlier than.

“I don’t know half the swimmers I’m swimming in opposition to as a result of they’re all like 10 years youthful than me,” Lochte stated, “however I imply it’s enjoyable simply getting on these blocks and racing once more and simply being completely happy once more with the game.”

Lochte was coming off a 14-month ban for receiving an intravenous infusion with out a therapeutic use exemption final yr.