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Ryan Lochte walks slowly into the room, a bulky brace on his left knee. He’s still got that same goofball demeanor, that same unique sense of fashion (on this day, he’s wearing a fedora with his trademark phrase “Jeah” embroidered across the back).
But the signs of change are all around.
He’s hobbled by the most serious injury of his career. He’s adjusting to a new home in North Carolina. And there’s that 30th birthday looming in August, the surest sign that he’s getting closer and closer to the day when he’ll have to find something else to do besides swimming.
“As you get older,” Lochte said, “your body doesn’t get any younger. I’ve started to realize that.”