Ryan Lochte Smiling 1
A look into Ryan Lochte's life as an Olympic athlete
02:59 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Lochte has won 12 Olympic medals and holds two world records

His TV show was canceled after one season

He was issued three different citations and was arrested once while at the University of Florida

CNN  — 

Swimmer Ryan Lochte has won dozens of accolades for his performance in the pool.

The four-time Olympian has 12 Olympic medals, six of them gold. He holds the world record in the 200 individual medley and 400 individual medley. If it wasn’t for Michael Phelps, the 32-year-old likely would have won more often and could have been considered the greatest American male swimmer of all time.

But Lochte’s life outside of the pool has been colorful – and at times rocky. Below are four things to know about him.

1. Swimming success

Lochte’s swimming career began under the coaching of his parents, Steve and Ileana, in Rochester, New York. When he competed for the University of Florida, he was named NCAA Swimmer of the Year twice and was a seven-time NCAA champion. He also was named an NCAA All-American 24 times.

Lochte’s success continued at the international level. He made his Olympics debut while he was still in college in the 2004 Games in Athens, winning two medals. His best Olympics came at age 28 in London in 2012, when he won five medals, including gold in the 400-meter individual medley and the 4x200 freestyle relay.

Lochte was named World Swimmer of the Year in 2010 and 2011 and has 70 medals in major international competition.

2. Grills and bleach

Lochte’s known for his jewel-encrusted mouth grills, once telling CNN that they illustrate part of his personality.

“I am taking this seriously, but there’s so much more to life than just swimming,” he said. “That’s what I want to have people know: You know what, I’m having fun doing this.”

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Lochte wore an American flag grill that cost $25,000.

This year, he sported a new hairstyle for the Summer Games, dyeing it silver before heading to Rio.

But that didn’t turn out well. After a few turns in the pool, the chlorine turned it green.

Lochte tweeted Tuesday that he would be changing his hairstyle back to his normal color.

3. TV misses

Following the 2012 Olympics, Lochte tried to get into the television business.

He was set to star in a new reality show on E! Entertainment network called “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” The plan was to track him as he prepared for the 2016 Olympics and searched for “the one.” The show was to include story lines on how Lochte was developing his fashion line and show his time bonding with his family, which includes his mom, two older sisters, and his younger brother and roommate.

“Ryan Lochte captured everyone’s attention at the Summer Olympics with his athletic prowess and his utterly unique and unaffected approach to life,” the president of E! Entertainment, Suzanne Kolb, said in a statement. “He is an incredibly endearing personality who is sexy, entertaining and fun. Watching this show, I believe people will fall into three categories: they want to be him, sleep with him or mother him.”

The show tanked, lasting only one season, and his clothing line never took off.

In the show “30 Rock,” he played himself – a partying sex idiot.

“I get to play just Ryan Lochte,” he said. “It’s not too much acting that I have to do, so that’s pretty good.”

4. Legal trouble

What happened in Rio isn’t Lochte’s first brush with the law.

According to police records, he was issued three different citations and arrested once while at the University of Florida. Lochte received a disorderly conduct citation in 2010, a citation for public urination in 2005 and a separate trespassing citation in 2005.

The swimmer tweeted on Sunday that he still wants to compete for Team USA in 2020. Whether that happens remains to be seen.