USA Swimming's Brett Favre is back, and Ryan Lochte — swimmer and psychic — couldn't be happier about it.
"I guarantee you'll be back before the Olympics,'" Lochte told Michael Phelps at the Golden Goggles Awards in 2012. "He's like, 'No way, I'm done.'"
Lochte's prediction proved right, as Phelps launched a comeback earlier this year, competing in April at the Arena Grand Prix, in Mesa, Arizona. This week, the rivals are entered in four of the same events at the U.S. national championships in Irvine. That's good for Lochte, since he told USA Today Sports that Phelps, who has 22 Olympic medals to his name, adds an extra level of competition in the pool.
"He's the toughest racer I've ever had to go up against," Lochte says. "It's a challenge because he doesn't want me to win, and I don't want him to win. We bump heads, and that's why our rivalry is so good. We have a friendship. Win or lose, outside of the pool we're going to be friends."
Friends with a score to settle. That 2012 Golden Goggles comment came with a friendly wager between Lochte and Phelps as to whether the retirement would stick.
"He owes me some money," Lochte said.