Olympian Ryan Lochte: “Swimming Doesn’t Define Who I Am”

Ryan Lochte 

He's the odds-on favorite to win multiple gold medals at the London Olympics, but that's not what drives Ryan Lochte to succeed.

"I could get one medal or 20, and I'll be happy," the six-time Olympic medalist — three gold, two silver, one bronze — tells the August issue of Men's Journal.

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"Swimming doesn't define who I am," Lochte, 27, explains. "I'm not going to give up anything for it. I'm still going to be exactly who I am and have fun with life. There's a lot of swimmers out there who make swimming their life, but for me, it's just a sport that I do."

Though he's been criticized for wearing a diamond grill on the medal stand, Locthe feels it's important to have fun and stay true to himself.

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"Some of the tight-asses were like, 'Oh, what the heck, that's not good, that's not good sportsmanship.' I don't show them off during the ceremony, anything like that, but it's, like, my personality coming out there. That's what the sport needs," he tells the magazine. "If we want to make the sport bigger than it is now, we have to start showing our personalities."

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Lochte isn't afraid to take risks, either. "Something could go wrong driving to practice. I could get hurt in a million ways," he tells Men's Journal. "You have to take that chance."

Want more Olympics? Meet Team USA's families, go inside their homes (and gyms!), and more! Check out Us Weekly's Olympic collectors edition, "American Heroes," on newsstands now. Order at bn.com/usolympics.

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