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LOCHTE AT MACY’S: It’s a good thing Ryan Lochte isn’t a runner. The 29-year-old Olympic swimmer has a history of injuring his knee. The first time came several years ago when he tore his meniscus break dancing. Then in November, he tore his MCL and sprained his ACL after being tackled by a rabid fan. “She got me from behind, knocked me down and I hit the sidewalk,” he said during a visit Wednesday afternoon at Macy’s Herald Square. After weeks of physical therapy and strength training, he tore his MCL again earlier this month. “But at least this time it was when I was swimming,” he said with a smile. “I was doing the breaststroke and I guess I just kicked too hard.”
The injury forced him to withdraw from a swim meet in Charlotte, N.C., when he would have once again faced rival Michael Phelps head-to-head. The two had squared off at a meet in Arizona last month, with Lochte besting a returning Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly. “It’s no secret Michael is back in the water,” Lochte said. “And he’ll definitely be competition in 2016 [at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics]. But there are more and more swimmers getting faster every year. It’s not just Michael I have to worry about, it’s the rest of the world, too. I just have to train my hardest every day.”
Lochte, who just moved to Charlotte to train, won’t tip his hand on which events he plans to swim in Brazil, saying he doesn’t want the competition to know. “I’ve got to keep them on their toes,” he said. “But I’m training with a sprint coach, so you may see me in different events.”
He’ll be 32 at the next Games, but with Dara Torres scoring a silver medal when she was 44, he may keep swimming competitively beyond that. “I always say I’ll quit when I stop having fun, but I’m still having a blast.”
Outside of the pool, Lochte and Ireland Baldwin are the faces of Calvin Klein White Label for the Macy’s American Icons campaign for spring.