Ryan Lochte: Forever living in Michael Phelps' shadow

Lochte ended Rio 2016 by winning one gold medal

Ryan Lochte: Forever living in Michael Phelps' shadow

Picture by: Michael Sohn / AP/Press Association Images

He has won 12 Olympic medals during his career, including six golds, but Ryan Lochte will always be remembered as an afterthought to Michael Phelps.

The 32-year-old New York native wants to compete in Tokyo in four-years time, and despite talk of a retirement, he expects Phelps to be there too. while Lochte's accomplishments in the swimming pool, including an astounding 65 medal in the long-course and short-course World Championships cannot be denied, he will forever be in Phelps' shadow.

Speaking earlier this week to NBC, Lochte was asked if he was happy to have swam in the same era as his great friend. His answer was telling.

"Yes and no. My career would definitely be different. I guess you would say I’d be like the Michael Phelps of swimming if he wasn’t there. 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."

Of Lochte's three silver and three bronze medals, Phelps won gold in four of those races. How different his career could have been.

The swimming competition at Rio 2016 ended on Saturday night, with Lochte leaving Brazil with a single gold medal. It was his lowest medal haul, since competing in Athens in 2004.

Only six people have won more medals than Lochte in the history of the Summer Olympics. His career will remain a case of having the potential to have offered so much more.