The meet’s website shows Lochte will compete among 95 other males aged 30 to 34 in six events. Those include, NBC Sports reports, the 50-meter backstroke, the 100 backstroke, the 100 breaststroke, the 200 freestyle and the 100 and 200 individual medleys.
Because Lochte is accustomed to competing against the world’s best in all age groups (he’s won 12 Olympic medals, including six gold), he’ll likely be a favorite in all of the events he swims.
While this event won’t help him cement a spot on Team USA for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, success here could help rehabilitate his reputation as dopey and immature.
Lochte — who has played up his intellectual deficiencies in the past, even starring in his own reality show, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” — earned widespread scorn this summer when his exaggerations stemming from a night out partying caused an international scandal.
In what turned out to be a confrontation between him and three other U.S. swimmers and security at a gas station, Lochte decided instead to embark on a media tour telling the world he got robbed at gunpoint by criminals posing as police. Before and during the Games, Rio authorities tried desperately to downplay the city’s dangers, so the allegations sparked an investigation and eventually security camera footage unraveled Lochte’s tale.
Lochte got out of Brazil before his story fell apart, but three teammates who were with him at the gas station were detained by authorities before being allowed to fly home. Lochte eventually admitted he “over-exaggerated” the story and apologized for his “immature behavior.”
“I was still intoxicated,” he told NBC’s Matt Lauer in August. “I was still under that influence, and I’m not making me being intoxicated an excuse. It was my fault, and I shouldn’t have said that.”
As a result of the fiasco, Lochte lost several sponsorships, as well as the ability to compete in national team competitions for 10 months.
Rio police also ended up charging Lochte for falsely reporting a crime, an offense that could result in six months in jail, but also could be resolved through a fine. The latest news from Brazil pertaining to Lochte’s legal case came in December, when the country’s largest newspaper Globo reported Lochte had offered $20,000 to authorities to close the case. It remains unclear, however, whether police accepted the offer.