As of Sunday night, Ryan Lochte is no longer just an Olympic athlete; he is a reality TV star. Lochte is no stranger to diligent training, but prepping for life on the small screen as star of E!'s "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" was quite the change. Instead of spending hours practicing in the pool, Ryan prepped on the couch by watching "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
According to Lochte, his first response to finding out about his TV show was "that's awesome," followed closely by seeking lessons from the girls with the ultimate reality-show success story, the Kardashians. "I wanted to prepare myself, so that's when I started watching the Kardashians' show, to just know what to expect when I start shooting for my show," Lochte said.
But watching the Kardashians' show was not all research for Ryan — he also looks up to Kim. (Like Kim, Ryan has dabbled in fashion — designing shoes, suits, swimsuits and shirts — but wants to wait to start anything serious until he "hangs up his Speedo.") "I have the most respect for her; she started from the bottom, now she's here," Ryan explained to MTV News, using Drake's newest song hook when asked if he'd like to follow in her footsteps.
"What I mean by that is she pretty much started from nothing and now she can't walk down the street without someone taking a picture or noticing her. I mean, who wouldn't want that? That's awesome. So did I mean that? Yeah, that's pretty cool." Unfortunately for Ryan and Kim fans, Kardashian will not be making any cameos on "WWRLD" because the two have never met.
As Lochte begins his television career, Kim will likely be taking some time away from hers as she nears the end of her pregnancy. As her new channel-mate, Ryan explains that since she's part of the E! family, she might get some "little Lochte shoes" from him as a baby gift, or, if appropriate, a baby Speedo. In that case, perhaps the birth of Kim's baby will finally lead Kardashian and Lochte to meet face to face. In the meantime, Ryan has plenty to keep him busy — not just the first season of his new show, but the approaching 2016 Olympics.