Published August 03, 2012
On Thursday night (or whenever it may have actually happened), top U.S. swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps were once again locked in a battle for an all-important gold medal. Phelps ended up edging out Lochte in the men's 200m individual medley, but Lochte took the silver ... and we learned some important things about his family. For example, Lochte's dad is the father in every comedy-drama film or television show that aired or takes place before 1980.
This was Lochte's father during the race last night.
Red-faced. Sensible, no-nonsense haircut. Top button unbuttoned under slightly loosened collar. A posture that conflicts with the emotion he's displaying. This is Mr. Arnold from The Wonder Years. This is the dad from Breaking Away.
Let's imagine this is the scene that took place just before the big swimming:
Mr. Lochte walks to the sidebar and pours himself a healthy measure of scotch. Mrs. Lochte eyes him warily.
MRS. LOCHTE: Ryan's swimming tonight, you know.
MR. LOCHTE: Yeah. Yeah, I know.
He takes a slug of scotch and exhales heavily.
MRS. LOCHTE: He'd love for you to be there.
MR. LOCHTE: Yeah? And maybe I'd love for him not to have quit his job at the mill and run off to be some kinda ... some kinda swimmer. You ever think of that, Marie? Hanh?!
She shakes her head, sadly.
MRS. LOCHTE: Well, when you feel like cheering for your son ... your SON, Hank ... you know where we'll be. At the pool.
She leaves. He watches her go and finishes his drink in one gulp, slamming the empty glass down on the bar in disgust.
And then, of course, he arrives at the pool just as his son's about to dive in. He elbows his way to the front as the music swells, growing more red-faced and disheveled with each length of the swim. Lochte emerges from the pool after the race and his father hugs him. They both weep.
Then a freeze frame and the Stephen J. Cannell logo appears.
For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics hub.