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Ryan Lochte visits Augusta, girls go wild: ‘He’s like 1,000 times cuter in person’

Ryan Lochte

US swimmer Ryan Lochte reacts after competing in the semi-finals of the men’s 100-metre butterfly swimming event in the FINA World Championships at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona on August 2, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Highlights from Ryan Lochte‘s meet and greet in Augusta, Ga., on Saturday included a cute (or disturbing) fan poster, giggling girls and, of course, another question about Michael Phelps’ retirement.

Lochte visited a pool house at Augusta Swim Supply for an autograph session. Teenage girls began lining up at least three hours before his appearance, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“He’s like 1,000 times cuter in person,” Kennedy, 14, told the newspaper.

“Once you meet him, you’re like, ‘I have met him,’ and nobody can take that away,” her friend, Annabel, said.

The newspaper compiled a slideshow from the event. This photo was undoubtedly the winner.

Lochte spoke with reporters at the event. Here are some of the highlights:

The very first question: Do you play golf? “I don’t think you want to see me. ... I’m pretty bad, but I do like the sport.”

On setting goals for 2016: “I have, and I’m not going to share them with you guys. They’re my goals. There’s only two people that know it. Me and my head coach. ... I want to keep everyone out there on their toes.” (very Phelps-like with that answer)

Lochte said he’s on a month-long break after the World Championships finished earlier this month. He expects to get back in the water in about a week. Lochte has said he planned an extended training trip to Australia this fall.

A reporter said he’s nearing “retirement age.” Lochte quickly quipped, “Don’t say that.”

On Phelps: “He says he’s retiring. I don’t believe it,” Lochte said, smiling, followed with a chuckle. “I’m hoping that he’ll be back, especially for 2016. So, we’ve just got to hope.”

On delivering Combos via swimming in the Hudson River last week: “Don’t swim in the Hudson River. ... It was an epic thing that I did.”

On what he called an “average” effort at the 2012 Olympics: “I wasn’t satisfied. I know I can do a lot better and go a lot faster and do more events.”

On what he eats every day: “I think the question is what don’t I eat,” he said, estimating he takes in 6,000 to 8,000 calories per day. “I just had a couple chicken sandwiches. I’m already hungry.”

Man vs. Bike in 400-meter hurdles race

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