On Thursday night, the two famous swimmers faced off in the men’s 200-meter individual race. It appeared to be the last dance of their 12-year run of bringing out the best in each other, as they like to put it.
Phelps finished first approximately 6 million miles ahead of everyone, winning his 22nd gold medal, and Lochte, talented wingman with blue hair, started strong in the first heat, but finished fifth.
Asked if he would swim against Phelps again, Lochte says he’s convinced it will happen.
“You know what? I can definitely say that, because I guarantee he will be there,” Lochte told TODAY Friday. “I think so. I really think so, so Michael I’ll see you in Tokyo.”
Phelps recently told reporters that this was only his “potential” final Olympics, “just so you guys don’t beat me to death if I come back.”
So it’s possible. Phelps and Lochte have been relay teammates and competitors since the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and Lochte often finishes second. Lochte recently said that if Phelps weren’t around, “I guess you could say, I’d be the Michael Phelps of swimming.”
Fingers crossed Phelps returns in 2020 so that together, they can continue to load up on carbs facing each other in twin ice baths, and ideally live lives in which neither of them has to say goodbye.