Finally, something great about Florida makes the news worldwide. If you read this blog with any regularity, you’ll know that nothing drives me more crazy than Florida making national or global news for someone or something idiotic. But this past week, Florida was looking mighty fine as we were represented at the Olympics by swimmer Ryan Lochte.
Lochte (pronounced Lock-tee) has four Olympic medals in his collection. He won a silver in the 200 IM and was part of the gold-medal-winning 4x200-meter freestyle relay team at the 2004 Games in Athens.
But his most amazing performance came on Friday, August 15. Swimming two races just 27 minutes apart, the former University of Florida All-American proved he was up to the endurance challenge, winning gold and bronze medals. Lochte, 22 and a Daytona Beach native, started his grueling doubleheader by traversing the 200-meter backstroke in a world-record time of 1 minute, 53.94 seconds, shaving more than a half second off the mark he established at a meet in Melbourne, Australia 16 months ago. Before the gold was draped around Lochte's neck, he went back to the pool for the 200-meter individual relay. Though gassed from his first race, Lochte had enough left to finish third (1:56.53). (Source: USA Today)
Mighty fine! In more ways than one, Grrr! (That’s a Cougar growl, ladies you know what I mean!).
There’s a lot to love about Ryan, from his Olympic success, UF credentials, Daytona Beach laid-back surfer attitude and tight knit family, he’s a great example of a native! One ESPN writer summed up Ryan’s attributes well. All of us Floridians who’ve been following his career for years are in a great mood this week, even if we are getting ready for our first hurricane of the season.