Ryan Lochte lashes back at his haters

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte attends the E! 2013 Upfront at The Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center on April 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Mike Coppola

What would Ryan Lochte do if he became the brunt of a joke? Ignore it.

The 28-year-old Olympic gold medalist-turned-reality TV star addressed the ups-and-downs of fame at the E! Network Upfront in New York on Monday.

He's experienced both in recent days.

A new reality series "What Would Ryan Lochte Do" premiered Sunday on the E! cable TV channel. It debuted on the heels of an unflattering video that went viral over the weekend where he appeared in an interview via satellite with Fox affiliate WTXF in Philadelphia. The segment itself -- while rather dull and maybe a little awkward -- became the most entertaining when it ended. The anchors doubled over with laughter over Lochte's response to some of their questions and wondered out loud how producers would have enough material to put together a TV show about him.

On the E! carpet, Lochte said he takes any naysayers in stride.

"The more known you get in the public eye, the more haters you're gonna have and that's a given," he rationalized. "But, you know what? All the haters, all the name calling goes through one ear (and) out the other and I don't mind it. The way I look at it the more haters I have it means I'm doing something right."

He credits swimming with helping him to block out the noise of negativity.

"With swimming I've been known to cut out everything. The crowd, everything. Just focus on me and my lane and what I need to accomplish so I can do that pretty much in life too."

Unfortunately, Lochte did not score a gold in the TV game. His reality series only scored 807,000 viewers during its first airing at 10 p.m. on Sunday night, according to The Hollywood Reporter, citing Nielsen ratings. The heavily-publicized show did see a good portion of its audience in the targeted adults 18-49, with 528,000 viewers in the coveted demographic, but that still only got him a 0.4 rating.