VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Mel Zajac Jr. International Canada Cup pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 50th year of competition this past weekend at the UBC Aquatic Centre. The star of the Canada Cup was none other than 5-time London Olympic medallist, Ryan Lochte. The Canada Cup set attendance records during the (May 24-26) 3-day competition as fans from all circles came to see the famous swimmer representing Daytona Beach Swimming.
The 28 year-old finished first in the four of six events he competed in. His speed, and experience in the pool was simply too overpowering for many of his competitors, and Lochte was named Male swimmer of the Canada Cup for his achievements.
On the final night Lochte competed in the Men’s 100 Meter Freestyle, and the Men’s 100 Meter Backstroke. The out going University of Florida alum won the freestyle race with a time of 50.97 seconds. After getting off to a quick start in the backstroke race, Lochte had to settle for 2nd place as Calgary’s Russell Wood finished 1st.
Lochte hadn’t officially participated in a swimming competition since the London, Olympics because he was taking time off to recover, and enjoy life outside of swimming. Part of Lochte’s enjoyment outside of swimming includes staring in his own reality television show called, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do” which can be found on E! in North America. Lochte has over 1 million followers on Twitter, and his show has allowed viewers the chance to learn more about the quirky swimmer in, and outside of the pool.
“It was a unique experience in my life. I get to tell my kids one day. Hey your Dad had his own reality TV show.”
Lochte has been making rounds on the American talk show circuit to promote his television venture but he’s happy to be back in the pool.
“The thing that got me back in the water is my goals. As far as I’m concerned I’m still an Olympic athlete.”
Lochte was quite pleased with his overall performance at the Mel Zajac Jr. International Canada Cup, and this should help him going forward if he is to swim at the World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona this summer.
“This meet has been really good for me, just getting back up on the blocks and racing, it doesn’t matter what kind of meet it is… racing the people next to you, it was a really good experience for me and I’m heading in the right direction.”
With every athlete there’s always room for improvement especially when you have outstanding competition behind you waiting to step up and make a name for themselves. Lochte is well aware of the process it takes to maintain elite swimming status.
“There’s a lot of things I still need to work on. I have one more month to make sure I tweak all those little things in my races.”
Ryan Lochte plans to compete in the 2016 summer Olympics in Brazil, and he also suggested that Michael Phelps will come out of retirement to compete at the 2016 summer Olympic games in Brazil as well.
Notes: London Olympic silver, and bronze medallist Elizabeth Beisel, did not compete on the final day of competition due to a minor rib injury. The 20 year-old Rhode Island native currently swims for the University of Florida.