Ryan Lochte has spent several weeks capitalising on the five medals he won at London 2012 with appearances galore on talk shows and among the gliterati of the showbiz world. Now, the 28-year-old and Gator guided by Gregg Troy tells AP: I'm heading back to the pool because that's what this is all about.
"My main goal is to make swimming bigger than what it is, or what it was back in 2008, and the only way I can do that is by going and doing cameos, being on talk shows, doing all those little things to help bring people aware that like, just bring them into swimming more," Lochte told The Associated Press.
"Honestly, the only time you ever hear about swimming is during the Olympics. I say to myself and to other people: Why can't swimming be like the NBA or the NFL or something like that, because we do have those big championship meets once a year, so why can't we have that (attention)?"
Lochte, the agency notes has worked as a fashion correspondent for TV's "Extra" during New York Fashion Week, filmed cameos for "30 Rock" and "90210," served as a presenter at the Alma Awards, introduced Lil Wayne on stage at last week's I Heart Radio concert in Las Vegas and was spoofed by Seth MacFarlane on the season opener of "Saturday Night Live."
He's also helped to raise funds for Water for People, which provides clean drinking water sources to developing nations. Lochte said he was "honored" to lend his famous face to the cause because "water is practically part of my life."
He noted that playing a role on camera rather than playing out real life in front of the cameras as a top swimmer in the pool was not easy.
"I can go up on the blocks and swim in front of millions and millions of people, no problem, and perform at my best. Like, that's easy. But getting in front of a camera and doing a little acting? That is nerve-racking," he said. "I did a first cameo for `90210' and I was completely nervous... A lot of stuff comes into play when you're acting. There's like different places where you have to be, different facial expressions, hand gestures, just everything comes into play, just for like one little scene. It's crazy."
Actor Alec Baldwin gave Lochte this advice: be yourself. And that's a swimmer first and foremost as Lochte gets set for world short-course championships in Turkey in December.
Asked if he would answer true call if Hollywood was on the line, Lochte answered: "Oh yeah, of course. I had a blast doing it. If it fits into my training, I'll do it."