Ryan Lochte: Swimming Suspension Makes Me Stronger — ‘I Will Have Drive and Purpose’

Ryan Lochte is moving on and growing from his Summer Olympics scandal. In an exclusive new interview with Us Weekly, the 12-time medalist opens up about the incident in Rio de Janeiro last August that left him suspended from swimming for 10 months, without his millions of dollars worth of sponsors and more. Find out what he said in the video above, and detailed below.

“The suspension forces me to take a mental break,” the swimmer reveals in the new issue of Us. “I guarantee I’ll be a better swimmer. I will have drive and purpose.”

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Ryan LochteRyan Lochte on September 07, 2016 in New York City. Ray Tamarra/GC Images

“I don’t think my suspension was fair,” Lochte adds. “Getting endorsements [for Speedo, Ralph Lauren, Airweave and Gentle Hair Removal, worth millions] pulled, I don’t think was right.”

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As previously reported, the Olympic athlete, 32, has been suspended from all swimming competitions after embellishing claims that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint. Law enforcement in Rio reported that the Olympian had “fabricated” his tale and charged him with filing a false report after video surfaced showing the athletes vandalizing a gas station bathroom.

“The behavior of these athletes was not acceptable,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement to Us after instituting the punishment, which went into effect immediately, last month.

That said, Lochte, who is currently competing on season 23 of Dancing With the Stars alongside pro Cheryl Burke, notes he has learned from his mistakes and wants to redeem himself.

“I don’t want people to just remember me for this incident — I will change that,” he tells Us.

Pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now, to find out if Lochte’s teammate Michael Phelps came to his aid, whether he’s heading to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and all the details behind his recent engagement to model Kayla Rae Reid.



Kitchen: Why Stews Always Beat Steaks


This fish stew with classic Mediterranean flavors is served with garlic toast. Credit Evan Sung for The New York Times

I think that a stew is more interesting than a steak, whether it’s a beefsteak, a cauliflower steak or a fish steak. In terms of flavor complexity and satisfaction delivered to the diner, a stew always wins, at least for me. The steak is one-dimensional; the stew transcends the sum of its parts.


The fish (fillets are fine) is first marinated with lemon slices. Credit Evan Sung for The New York Times

Take this Italianate fish stew. It is not really terribly complex, but simmering a sea bass in a savory broth seasoned with garlic, onion, olive oil, tomato and saffron gives it a lot of pizazz for minimal effort. Cooks around the Mediterranean know this. A simple stew of this sort is standard fare from Barcelona to Bandol, from Marseille to Messina.

It’s actually rather easy to put together. Rinse a dozen large clams (or a couple of pounds of mussels). Chop some firm white-fleshed fish fillets, season them with salt, pepper and herbs, and let them marinate while you make the base for the stew.

Soften an onion in olive oil and add garlic, tomato and saffron. Add a pinch of hot pepper, some crushed fennel seed and a splash of white wine. Finish making the broth with fish or chicken stock, though water is just fine as long as the broth is well seasoned. Now the hard part is done. (And it wasn’t too hard, was it?) You can make this base several hours ahead of the meal, or even the day before.

From this point, dinner is a mere 30 minutes away. Just pop the stew into a hot oven. When the clams have opened and the fish is easy to flake, it is ready. Of course, you could cook the stew on the stovetop, but cooking it in the oven gives it heat from every direction, not just from the bottom of the pot. In my experience, this helps to keep the fish moist. Though it does simmer in the oven, it doesn’t get that “boiled fish” texture, and the broth gains in flavor, too.


The fish and clams await the well-seasoned broth, which will be poured on top. Then into the oven. Credit Evan Sung for The New York Times

You’ll want to serve this fish stew with garlic toast. Just toast thick slices of good hearth-baked bread till golden and rub the surface vigorously on one side with a garlic clove. Now dip it into that glorious broth. You can’t do that with steak.
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