Ryan Lochte failed to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after finishing seventh at the 200 IM at the Olympic trials at Omaha, Nebraska this past weekend. But is Lochte on the verge of calling it a career? the 12-time Olympic medalist recently posted an Instagram video and revealed he is not retiring after a disappointing performance at the Olympic trials.
"I didn't want this video to be a sappy video," Lochte said, per PEOPLE. "I'm not done. I'm not retiring. There's so much more I want to do in the sport of swimming, whether it's in the pool or outside of the pool trying to grow the sport because the love and passion that I have — I want to grow the sport. I want to put swimming in people's living rooms all the time. So, I'm still going to be doing that. I'm still going to be in the sport, and I'm still going to be trying to teach kids how to swim."
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In the video, Lochte also sent a message to his family. "I want to say thank you to my family," Lochte said. "When I fell down, you guys picked me back up and said, 'Keep fighting and striving for greatness, trying to become a better man every day.' So, thank you." Lochte then had a message for the athletes competing in the Olympics next month.
"One thing I love about the Olympics is it's one time in the world where everyone comes together to do one thing: compete," he said. "It doesn't matter what race you are, it doesn't matter what color you are. It's everyone coming together, and I love that. I'm sad that I won't be there, but I'll be there in spirit and heart. I'll be watching and cheering you on..."
This will be the first time Lochte will not compete in the Olympics after taking part in the last four games. In terms of medals, Lochte is the second-most decorated swimmer in Olympic history with Michael Phelps being first.
"I still want to race but as far as another Olympic trial, I don't know about that," Lochte said at the Olympic trials. "I'll be 40. That's pushing it. But we'll see — anything can happen," he added. "I can take years off and be stronger than ever, who knows. But right now I'm just going to take this all in and go see my family."