Ryan Lochte: Reality Star

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As most of our readers know, Ryan Lochte has been a sort of a Ladies… mascot over the years. When his star power blew up last summer, it felt like one of our own had finally done good for himself. Obviously, we were pretty excited when it was announced that Ryan would appear in his own reality show on E! (natch). Lochte live in our living room every week? Where do we sign up?

While Ryan is lovely to look at, he’s not that great to listen to. He says really dumb things that make for great television/Internet meme material. So follow me after the jump for the best of What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

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Supporting women’s athletics, not just paying lip service (Go Badger Women’s Hockey!)

I’m absolutely loving this column Val Ackerman is doing over at ESPNW where she is speaking to prominent male sports executives about the future of women’s sports. It’s at once fascinating, heartening and upsetting. Her most recent is with recent Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. Burke is probably best known around these parts for his no bigotry stance – he’s one of the few high-level executives out there consistently saying all the right things about why skin color, sexual orientation and really anything other than your athletic ability shouldn’t matter on the playing field.

Ackerman talks to Burke about the rapid growth of women’s hockey. I’m a huge women’s hockey fan and supporter and this was the first I’d heard that Burke was, as well, so I’m always happy to hear that high level men’s execs are also behind the women. I started wanting to break down some of the things Burke says, but ultimately, this quote of his is really what it comes down to for me:

Don’t just say you support Title IX, don’t just say you support women’s athletics; buy a ticket, bring your family. Buy a sponsorship on a team, put some money behind this thing, help it grow. If you really believe in women’s sports, there’s an opportunity to show it in a very direct way. Fans vote with their feet. Show up at a game.

– Brian Burke

I can’t stress enough how important this is and I’m going to go ahead and call each and every one of your out. When was the last time you went to a women’s college or professional game? Do you donate to your local college’s scholarship programs? Buy season tickets? Go to a game? Even at the high school level? Do you support fund raisers or pay admission?

If you do, do you drag your friends along? Do you extol the virtues of your favorite game or team? Do you introduce your friends and family to a sport or team they’re not familiar with and get them as excited about it as you are? Do you take your sister or niece or grandkid to as many different sports as you can and foster their love in a way that we didn’t get when we were little?

Because I didn’t used to do that and this year I made a concerted effort to change that. I’ve always been a hugely vocal supporter of Wisconsin women’s hockey, but I’d never put my money where my mouth was before now.

Follow the jump for more on Badger women’s hockey, Team USA and $5 world class talent
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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 19: Carlos Bocanegra

So I’ve given you a bit of Boca in the past, so I won’t even lie that this post didn’t just start out as an excuse to post these spectacular pics from this year’s ESPN Body Issue…

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But the I realized there’s so much more to share with you!

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Hit and Run: London is for the Ladies

We knew, going in, that the London Olympics would be the first to feature female athletes from every participating country.  We knew that there were more women than men on both the US Olympic team and at the Olympics overall.  But Thursday, with gold medal matches in both women’s football and water polo, and the first ever gold medals awarded in women’s boxing, seemed even more special for women’s sports (particularly if you happen to be a fan of the US).  The 1918 Hartlepool Expansion Ladies Football Team* up there would no doubt approve.

* Photo via The Public Domain Project, who have a great post of old team photos.

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Ryan Lochte has Michael Phelps’ number when really, he should have ours.

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Lochte and Phelps in Shanghai in 2011. They look so happy and non-competitive here. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

As if the London Games weren’t already worth watching, we can now happily set our PVRs for fantastic swimming showdowns between bjillion-time medallist Michael Phelps and our new official mascot since Pat Burrell’s retirement, Ryan Lochte. Hot-chte edged Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley Monday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska (what up, Miss Minda!), finishing with a time of 4:07.06. Phelps strolled in at 4:07.89. Tell me this battle isn’t going to be fun to watch! Is there a Canadian in this yet? I can honestly say I don’t care. But only this time.

ESPN’s video gallery which accompanies this story includes the feature Ryan vs. Ryan. I’m not sure what was more impressive: his workout regime or his slow-mo dive into the pool.

31 days until the 2012 Summer Games, you guys!

One Step Closer to the Olympics (U.S. Edition)

Trey Hardee, Shotput (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

With just over a month to go before the Olympics, countries around the world have begun selecting their teams. This week happens to be both the US Track and Field and the US Diving Trials (probably on NBC, albeit severely edited, this weekend), which are two of my favorite pre-Olympic events: Track and Field because I was raised by a track geek, and diving because it’s just really cool to watch, and you always know when someone REALLY screws up.

Pictures of striving Olympic hopefuls, and a lecture to the wire service caption writers, after the jump.

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Ladies Links: T-Minus 2 Months Edition

There are less than 2 months until the London Olympics people: today’s links start with another great slideshow of Team USA (distance runner Barnard Legat is just a sample).  Hat tip to The Hairpin, whose staff are clearly our Olympic soulmates.

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