Lochte Resume Complete

Ryan Lochte was already firmly established as the greatest swimmer in the history of the Gator men's program. He had won world championships, set world records, and coming into Thursday night (U.S. time) in Beijing, he had won two gold medals in the 800-freestyle relay. But he had never won an individual gold medal.

That gap in his phenomenal resume was filled in the only style that would have satisfied Lochte, with a world record. Lochte swam the fastest 200 backstroke ever in besting long time rival Aaron Piersall and earning his first trip to the top of the medal stand all by himself.

The gold medal was Lochte's fifth career Olympic medal and his third gold. He added a sixth medal later in the evening with a bronze medal in the 200-individual medley as Michael Phelps won gold and an exhausted Lochte missed silver by .01 seconds. It's a shame he had to swim the two races less than an hour apart, because at his best, he is the equal to Phelps in that race.

Still, what a great moment for an all-time Gator great. Lochte is not only most successful Gator men's swimmer in Olympic history; he did something that is truly amazing. Lochte is the first Gator to win an individual swimming gold medal while competing for the United States. He joins Martin Zubero (200-back, 1992, Spain), Anthony Nesty (100-fly, 1988 Suriname) and Duncan Armstrong (200-free, 1988, Australia) as Gators with individual gold.

Dara Torres has gotten a lot more attention, and the 41-year-old has earned every bit of it. But tonight was Ryan Lochte's night. The greatest night in the greatest career in the history of Gator men's swimming.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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