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SwimNews.com - Craig Lord: Lochte And Life Beyond The Pool
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Lochte And Life Beyond The Pool

Feb 18, 2013  - Craig Lord

Ryan Lochte tells AP's Paul Newberry that he is loving his role as a reality TV star but is struggling to balance the demands of screen and training at Gainesville and the home of the Gators with coach Gregg Troy and team.

The 11-time Olympic medalist told AP that "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" has been "consuming my life". Instead of nine sessions in the pool, Lochte is managing four or five a week. The sacrifice may be that those for whom swimming remains a singular passion one side of achievement may get the upper hand come world titles in Barcelona this summer; the reward, says Lochte, is that swimming gets a wider audience.

Rivals will not wish to get too comfy with the idea of a soft Lochte: filming finished six weeks from now. 

Meanwhile, Lochte has other campaigns on his plate beyond profile. Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the leading non-profit in the United States that focuses its work on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne), welcomed the swimmers to its Annual Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., last week.

The 28-year-old has been a volunteer spokesman for PPMD since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Lochte's uncle, Ron Sweitzer, had a brother who died from the disease. 

Lochte arrived in Washington with more than 100 advocates to urge Congress to reauthorise The Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research and Education Amendments of 2013 (MD-CARE Act). It was enacted in 2001 and reauthorised for a second time in 2008 when Lochte made his first trip to Capitol Hill to lobby congressional support.

The legislation is said to have transformed life for many with the disease by intensifying muscular dystrophy research efforts and standardising care. The pathway is reported to have added 10 years to the lifespan of Duchenne patients and unlocked the development of potential therapies.