Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is recovering after undergoing surgery for appendicitis. The 36-year-old revealed that he was heading for a procedure on Saturday with a selfie on his Instagram Stories. He then later provided an update with a video showing off his post-surgery meal.
"Hey everyone, surgery went amazing. I'm all good — I feel great right now," Lochte said in his video. He smiled while struggling to keep his eyes open. He also had breathing tubes in his nose. Lochte did later show his continued recovery with another video on his Stories. He had his hospital gown on and no longer required the breathing tube. He then flipped the camera and showed a dinner setup featuring steak, french fries, and a Caesar salad.
Dr. Travis Stork, a member of PEOPLE's Health Squad and an ER physician, explained that appendicitis occurs when a blockage of the appendix leads to an infection. Removing the appendix through surgery is a standard treatment. Failing to address the issue can lead to a ruptured appendix, which can become life-threatening.
According to PEOPLE, the surgery took place amid a training schedule. He has the intention of competing in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which will take place in 2021. The International Olympic Committee delayed the games for an entire year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I'm trying to prove to everyone that I can do this," Lochte said. "You could say this is my redemption." The last time he competed in the Olympics, Lochte sparked controversy. He won a gold medal during the Rio Games in 2016 but also left as a disgraced figure. He claimed that he was robbed at gunpoint, but the actual story was that he had a confrontation with armed security guards over alleged vandalism.
As a result of the incident, USA Swimming suspended Lochte for 10 months. He also lost $1 million in sponsorships. The swimmer faced another suspension in 2018 for "restricted IV use," and then he later entered a month-long rehab program for alcohol.0comments
Lochte is no longer a controversial figure and is instead a family man. He continues to train and spends four hours each day in a quarantine-friendly pool. He then returns home to be with his wife and children. Lochte then continues training in the afternoon in pursuit of potentially qualifying for Team USA once again before his 37th birthday.
In his Olympic career, Lochte has won 12 medals. This includes six gold, three silver, and three bronze medals in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Now he will strive to secure lucky number 13 after undergoing appendicitis surgery.