Ryan Lochte: I Always Seek Out “the Best-Looking Girl in the Room”

Ryan Lochte talked to Elle about his fashion aspirations. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

On April 21, thanks to E!, the life of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte will be an open book. Judging from his new show's trailer and its truth-or-dare-like title — What Would Ryan Lochte Do? — Lochte, 28, isn’t your typical gold medalist. Why? He parties. He talks to girls. And he isn’t afraid to document it on camera.

ELLE.com caught up with the 2016 Olympic hopeful — who had just finished a five-hour practice — to talk about his insta-viral Kim Kardashian quote, his new outlook on dating, and his fashion ambitions.

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On relationship deal-breakers: "It’s usually something about my lifestyle that women can’t keep up with. I’m an Olympic athlete, so there are a lot of obligations that I have for my sponsors. I’m on the road sometimes, and I’m not always there every day. Girls don’t seem to understand this — that kind of lifestyle — unless I were to date another Olympic athlete." 

On the evolution of his ideal woman: "Before the show, I thought I knew what I wanted in a girl. I’d go to a bar, or be somewhere, and I’d ask the most attractive girl there out on a date. That’s how I used to be. During the show, I met a lot of women — because of going out in all the different places [we filmed]. And, [again], I looked for the best-looking girl in the room to talk to and ask out — just because she was nice to look at. But, now, I want to get to know her before I go on a date. I want to have that base — that friendship — and then move from there."

On his favorite word—beside "Jeah!": "I don’t know. I really like jeah. You can use jeah in any [way]. Jeah is kind of like another word for saying yeah — it just has a little swag to it."

On his Kim Kardashian quote that went viral: "The headline that ran — saying I want to be like Kim Kardashian — it was an hour and a half long interview. At some point, I talked about Kim Kardashian. She’s part of the E! family. I love her. I respect her. She’s done great with her business. And that’s what I was trying to get at. I really respect Kim Kardashian. So, when they asked, 'Do you want to be like her?' She started from nothing and now she can’t go anywhere without people taking pictures or without people knowing about her, knowing who she is. I think that’s pretty cool."

On his fashion aspirations: "Anything I do, I do with 110 percent. Right now, my biggest goal is the 2016 Olympics. My main focus is that. But after the sport of swimming — when it’s all said and done — I want to get involved in fashion. I want to design my own clothing line. I’m very into fashion. It’s something I really want to focus on when swimming is over."


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