The long-simmering feud between University of Iowa swimmer Dustin Rhoads and Olympic champion Ryan Lochte erupted into an all-out war of words yesterday, as Rhoads confronted Lochte and his friends during a scheduled television interview with UI athletic director/swimming promoter Gary Barta.
Ryan Lochte was appearing as part of a world wide web (WWW) campaign engineered by Barta to promote the country's best swimmers. Lochte was in the middle of a long dissertation on the talent of he and his acquaintances, which included two United States swimming champions and the legendary Mark Spitz, when Rhoads and the rest of the University of Iowa swim team approached the set. Rhoads challenged Lochte to a match race in the nearby pool, then unleashed a string of R-rated insults related to Spitz's former relationship with Rhoads' current girlfriend, Baby Doll.
Lochte begged off the challenge, saying it would cost too much money for Barta to put him on a televised race. However, swimming insiders indicate that a Lochte-Rhoads match race at the next Barta-managed pay per view swimming event is a near certainty. Until then, the war of words will likely continue.