A Look Back At Olivia Culpo's Rumored Romance With Ryan Lochte

Model Olivia Culpo only has eyes for her fiancé Christian McCaffrey these days. However, before the San Francisco 49ers running back plowed into her life, Culpo had some headline-making relationships. Nick Jonas, whom she dated for almost two years, was high-profile but also a non-sports-playing anomaly in her star-studded list of love interests. McCaffrey isn't the first footballer in her life either; the Sports Illustrated model has been romantically linked to superstar NFL quarterback Tim Tebow and NFL wide receiver Danny Amendola.

Before Culpo started creating her own romantic NFL roster, however, she was linked to none other than Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. Today, the 12-time medalist has been married to Kayla Reid Lochte since 2018 and is the proud father of three kids: Caiden, Liv, and Georgia. Though the Lochtes' relationship hasn't been all sunshine and roses, nearly ending in a divorce after Ryan's mental health suffered from not qualifying for the 2021 Summer Olympics, Culpo might have a bit of relationship envy.

"I worry all the time about the future," the reality star said on her show "The Culpo Sisters." "I always thought by 30 I would be married [and] I'd have kids." Nevertheless, she maintains that every relationship and break-up happens for a reason, including her brief fling with Lochte.

Ryan Lochte loved Olivia Culpo and then lost her

In 2012, Olivia Culpo and Ryan Lochte were speculated to be an item after being spotted hanging out on more than one occasion. The pair was first seen at Brian Atwood's party following the launch of that year's New York Fashion Week. Reportedly, the renowned fashion event brought them together for their first meeting just a few days prior. Then, 72 hours later, they were getting cozy yet again, this time at another New York Fashion Week event showcasing Venus Williams' tennis line. As the duo kept popping up at various shows, people began to take notice.

The New York Daily News reported that a close source said at the time, "Things are still very new, because they just met." Meanwhile, Lochte's team wouldn't officially label them as "dating." The professional swimmer wasn't so tight-lipped about the relationship, though. He told E! News, "She is beautiful. I love hanging out with her. She has a great sense of humor, she makes me laugh; she's just a good girl to hang out with."

It seemed like the then-newly crowned Miss Universe was quickly becoming the center of Lochte's universe — until she pushed him out of her orbit and back into the friend zone. "People make things up when they see people together," She first told the New York Post, confirming that she was definitely still single (via People).

Olivia Culpo swore off athletes for a while

It wasn't Ryan Lochte who caused Olivia Culpo to previously swear off athletes, but she does maintain that the group, in general, has a reputation. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, the former Miss Universe confessed, "I think that was the reason why I didn't want to date an athlete, no offense, because there is a reputation there." She had previously divulged on her show, "The Culpo Sisters," that one of her relationships really put her off athletes and love in general, admitting that the person made her "feel like a less-than human in every sense of the word."

She didn't give any names, but we're guessing that person wasn't Lochte, seeing as they barely spent any real time together. Additionally, she had a pretty tumultuous break-up with her ex, Danny Amendola, after a cheating scandal followed by him publicly detailing their relationship on Instagram in a manner that was quite risqué. Fortunately, it seems like breaking her no-athlete rule for her current fiancé, Christian McCaffrey, was well worth it, as Culpo has gushed about him on social media.

In a post from June 2022, Culpo confessed, "I'm so grateful for the voice inside me that told me to give love another chance ... You are everything I ever dreamed of and more," alongside a carousel of photos of her and McCaffrey. Although she had a few rocky romances after saying so long to Lochte, things are finally looking up for Culpo.