Take that Fidel, take that Raul, you rat bastards…. this is what the “historic exile” is all about.

Ryan Lochte and his Cuban Mom
Ryan Lochte and his Cuban Mom

Ryan Lochte’s Cuban Mom on How He Became a Great Swimmer

Source: NBC News

The 6-time Olympic medalist credits his Cuban mom, Ileana “Ike” Lochte, for his success

He is on the cover of Vogue magazine, has commercials for Speedo, Gillette, and Ralph Lauren – and just happens to be one of the best swimmers in the world.

Florida’s own Ryan Lochte seems to be on top of the world, and the London 2012 Olympic Games are next on his list to conquer.

Lochte, who grew up in Central Florida, credits his Cuban mom for where he is today.

“And every time I hear it, I cry, because you work so hard to get your kids to fulfill their goals, and sometimes they don’t realize it until they’re older, and now he’s realizing how much we’ve given up,” says his mother, Ileana “Ike” Lochte.

She was born in Havana, and her family moved to Miami when she was 7, later growing up in New York. Ike returned to attend the University of Miami, where she met her husband Steve.

The Lochtes then settled along with their children in Port Orange. The small Florida town just south of Daytona Beach has even named a street after their local hero – Lochte Way.

Ryan Lochte’s parents, both of whom were swimmers, coached their son until he was 12.

A turning point came when he was 6 or 7.

“He swam at a swim meet, a mini-meet, that he was able to beat 9-year-olds, and that was it,” Ike Lochte says. That was the first time she saw potential greatness in him, she says.

Ryan Lochte went on to the University of Florida where he started to work with a coach that told him he was good enough to be the best, and that if he would put in the work, he could make it to the Olympics.

Work he did – and it has paid off with six Olympic medals and four world records to date.

“He never misses a day of practice unless he is doing a photo shoot or something,” his mom says. “He never misses a day of anything. He loves it, he loves the competiveness, he loves the weight training.”

Asked where her son gets his Adonis body from, Ike Lochte has a ready response.

“Of course, it’s me,” she says with a laugh.

Click here to read about this week’s duels between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps at the U.S. Olympic trials.

London will be Ryan Lochte’s third Olympic Summer Games, and by many accounts this will be his year.

His mom has medals of all colors, shapes and sizes in her family’s Port Orange home, but his personal gold from Beijing in 2008 is her fondest memory, she says.

“When he won the gold medal, the individual gold medal, and all I could think about what was my parents went through and how he’s there representing the United States, and my parents wanted us to be there so badly, to be in the United States,” she says. “And to see him up there with the American flag, it was great.”

7 thoughts on “Take that Fidel, take that Raul, you rat bastards…. this is what the “historic exile” is all about.”

  1. Thanks, Carlos, for sharing this story that highlights the Cuban roots of this great Olympic champion. In the media outlets of Washington, DC, where I reside, there was no mention whatsoever of Ryan’s Cuban dimension. I guess that when it comes time to winning gold medals in the global arena, there is no room for pejoratives like the “Miami Mafia.” For those wanting to see a replay of Ryan’s magnificent win on Saturday, click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xep-8USNbc

  2. Yes, I’ve noticed that for the most part the maintream media is omitting Ryan’s Cuban ancestry. Part of the reason is that he doesn’t fit the profile of what a Lateeno is supposed look and be like. For one thing, he doesn’t look lateeno enough, he’s white, has blue eyes, speaks standard English, he didn’t struggle out of the ghetto, and his parents are middle class. Ergo, not LATEENO ENOUGH. Sorry, only George Lopez types need apply.

  3. It’s not that he’s only half “Latino,” since Obama is only half black and that makes no difference. It’s not that he doesn’t look the part, so to speak, because Elizabeth Warren doesn’t look even remotely American Indian, yet she got plenty of mileage out of claiming (falsely) to have Cherokee ancestry—Harvard University was perfectly willing to buy her as “native American” and tout her as such. It’s that he’s half Cuban, and nobody wants to do “those people” any favors. If he were half Mexican, you’d better believe that would be brought out at every turn. But then, we all know the drill, don’t we?

  4. I understand the sentiment behind this post’s title, but we shouldn’t make that much of the Castro bastards. Their father (well, at least Fidel’ father) was a Spaniard of ill repute who fought as a soldier against Cuba’s independence, and their mother Lina was a housemaid of easy virtue (the major authority on Afro-Cuban culture, Lydia Cabrera, who was too much of a lady to call them “hijos de puta,” came up with a withering substitute: “hijos de Lina”). They were illegitimate from birth, and they’ve remained so their entire lives. They have never been “presidents” or military men, let alone anything remotely close to a real general. They are an imposition on the Cuban people and on Cuba’s history, imposed by force, oppression and fear, and their “narrative” is a mountain of perverse distortions and outright lies. We should look upon them as an aberration, a hideous anomaly, a disease that infected and decimated Cuba. They adopted an alien, foreign ideology against which Cuba’s greatest historical figure, José Martí, had already warned mankind, because he saw it coming even before it arrived in earnest. They are, in fact, anti-Cubans.

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