There was a time not that long ago that we, the female population of the whole wide world, was convinced that Ryan Lochte was our Greatest Hope—a matured Luke Cafferty type with invisible gills, propelled to the top of the Olympic podium by hard work and quiet determination.
But then he started talking to reporters and tweeting a bunch. And now with every wink to the camera, every hilariously unaware interview about the sexual prowess of Olympic athletes, every frat-sourced response to inquiries about his dating life, every public confession to peeing in the Olympic pool, every mention of his fancy shoe collection, every time he wears P.Diddy’s wardrobe and thinks he’s being original, we die a little on the inside.
He also does this awful thing in interviews where he responds to a question by rhetorically asking, “You know what?” before giving his answer, as if we’re going to be totally blown away by what he has to say. “Do you want to win a gold medal?” “You know what? I do want to win a gold medal.” Like that. It really bugs me.
In honor of our American hero’s unwavering confidence and our waning hearts, we took to his very active Twitter account and rounded up the the best examples of his unaffected self-promotion (and run-ins with grammar) during the course of his Olympic competition. And yet, he remains, as you’re about see, inexplicably hard to hate, that wily merman. Ryan Lochte, how do you do it?