“I guess you would say I’d be like the Michael Phelps of swimming if he wasn’t there,” Lochte said. “But at the same time I love a challenge, and that’s why I do the events that I do and going up against him is a challenge.”
Both swimmers say that they bring out the best in each other, but Lochte’s coach, David Marsh, had his own take.
“The most overshadowing thing has just been that he’s swimming at the same time as Michael Phelps,” Marsh told NBC. “He’s been in that role of pushing Michael. In reality, he’s not trying to push Michael. He’s trying to beat Michael.”
On Thursday night, Phelps and Lochte faced off for possibly the last time at the Olympics, with Phelps winning gold in the 200-meter individual medley. Lochte finished in fifth place.