Lochte happy to share his success
Updated: Saturday, 15 Dec 2012 12:12
Ryan Lochte may have set a new world record in the 200 metres individual medley at the World Short-Course Championships in Istanbul last night but it was images of the five-time Olympic champion giving away his gold medal that commanded as much attention.
The 28-year-old, who won five medals at the 2012 Games, is a hugely-popular figure and has been mobbed by fans and press alike at the Sinan Erdem Dome.
The American has a flamboyant side, with his diamond mouthpiece and custom-made trainers with wings surging out of the back as well as his signature catchphrase 'Jeah!'.
However, he is also known for being selfless, happy to spend time with autograph hunters when everyone else has long gone.
Lochte has won five medals - four of them gold - in Turkey but he is just as happy to give them away.
Lochte said: "It's not that I don't want to keep hold of them - one of the reasons why I am swimming is because of the fans, they made me who I am today.
"I want to give back to them.
"Seeing that look on their face when I put that medal around their neck, that glow they have, that big smile - that means the world to me.
"The support they have given me throughout my whole swimming career, they have supported me through the hard times and good times.
"They have always been there for me and you know what, I want to give back to them."
However, he added: "I keep the Olympic medals - I don't give those away!"