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Ryan Lochte is like every other competitive swimmer who's donned a Speedo and goggles: He sometimes uses the pool as a restroom. Unlike every other competitive swimmer who's donned a Speedo and goggle, Lochte has done it on the sport's biggest stage: At the Olympics.
The 11-time Olympic medalist admitted to "Access Hollywood" that he went No. 1 in the pool in which he was later crowned No. 1 in the 400 IM.
"I did in warm-up," he told Ryan Seacrest. "I think there's just something about getting into chlorine water that you just automatically go."
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He stressed that he doesn't do it in competition because -- why would you go during competition? If you can't hold it for 1 minute, 52 seconds, then you have bigger problems with which to contend. So the warm-up pool is likely not where you were thinking.
Is Lochte gross for doing this? No, not at all. Using the pool in that way is as much a part of swimming as dryland, early morning practices, throwing kickboards and complaining about how cold the pool is.
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Lochte isn't ashamed. Nor am I. For I, Chris Chase, am a pool goer. If we go, do we not bleed? Surely not. Hundreds of thousands of competitive swimmers have done the same. I haven't been a competitive swimmer in over a decade, but I coached for a long time after and I can safely report nothing's changed. Everyone does it. There's a name for swimmers who say they've never gone in the pool: Liars.
Why do swimmers go? Four reasons:
1. Pool bathrooms are gross. They're soaking wet all the time and you can't be entirely sure all the water has come from bodies dripping.
2. It's usually a long way from the pool to the bathroom. The air can be cold, the pool always feels colder upon getting back in and there's rarely a good time to leave the water. Your coach will get mad and it's not worth the agita.