The new documentary, “In Deep with Ryan Lochte,” chronicles the Olympic swimmer’s rise, fall into scandal and efforts to make a comeback.
“A lot of people have a different perception of me, and this documentary is going to basically show you the real me — the downs I’ve had in my life, the ups and how everything has shaped me into who I am today,” Lochte, 35, tells The Post.
Premiering July 15 on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming platform, “In Deep” covers the now-infamous incident at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil when the bleached-blonde Lochte — a 12-time Olympic medalist — falsely claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint.
He was subsequently dropped by his sponsors and was suspended by USA Swimming for 10 months from competing in domestic and international competitions. In 2018, he was slapped with a 14-month suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for allegedly receiving a “prohibited intravenous infusion” (which he denied).
“I want people to see all that hard work and dedication that I put into my sport to get to where I’m at,” says Lochte. “A lot of people think because I’m such a jokester in life that I just got by by talent. That isn’t the case at all. I busted my butt every day and worked hard to get where I’m at. So you’re going to see a little bit of everything.
“I don’t have any regrets [about the 2016 scandal] just because I really believe that everything happens for a reason,” he says. “And that was someone saying, ‘Wake up and smell the roses. It’s time to grow up. It’s time to change certain things in your life, because you’re headed down the wrong path.’ [The scandal] was something that was a part of my life, but it helped change who I am to the person that you’re going to see now.
“It took a lot of courage for me to talk about something so dramatic had such a big impact on my life,” he says. “I was able to move forward and I’m still moving forward and trying to better myself every day.”
In the ensuing years, Lochte married former Playboy model Kayla Rae Reid and started a family (son Caden, 3, and daughter Liv, 1). It’s a facet of his life covered in the documentary.
“It is so much fun [and] it’s a lot of hard work being a dad and trying to compete at the highest level in sports,” he says. “My son is like a little mini-me and my daughter is like the cutest thing ever. It’s so much fun. Every day it’s something new.”
He’s also still training for the Tokyo Olympics, which were moved to 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. If Lochte makes the team, he’ll be 36 — the oldest American male competing in Tokyo.
“I was upset that [the Olympics were moved] but the main thing for everyone to be safe,” he says. “They didn’t get cancelled, just postponed, I have to look at the positive side to this — that I get another year of making myself better in and out of the pool. So I think this is a blessing for me.
“But age is just a number,” he says. “If I start feeling old, then it’s going to show. My kids are keeping me young and energetic.”