Fresh off of his gold medal-winning men’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte will make an appearance at Wizard World Comic Con at the Greater Richmond Convention Center Sept. 10. This will be one of his first scheduled public appearances since returning from the Rio de Janerio Olympics. From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., fans will be able to meet him as well as receive a limited number of free autographs and selfies with the swimmer. There will also be professional photo opportunities for a fee.
Wizard World spokesman Jerry Milani says to his knowledge this is the first time an Olympian has appeared at a Wizard World Comic Con, but adds he's not 100 percent certain, as they have been conducting shows for 19 years. He says of Lochte's attendance, "We feel that such a well-known world champion who has been on the biggest stage will be an exciting guest for many of our fans to meet. He's doing free autographs and selfies for attendees, so we expect his area to be quite busy on Saturday [Sept. 10]."
Lochte has been no stranger to headlines after filing a false statement with Brazilian police regarding an incident that involved a vandalized gas station bathroom. Still facing charges from Brazilian authorities over the incident, Lochte has also recently lost four sponsorships from Speedo, Ralph Lauren, Syneron-Candela and Airweave, but gained Pine Bros. cough drops, which he'll represent in a campaign of “Forgiving On Your Throat.”
It’s unknown at this time whether Lochte will continue his Olympic swimming career or if USA Swimming and the U.S. Olympic Committee will suspend him for his actions during these latest Olympic games.
However, Lochte is the latest to be added to the growing list of celebrities appearing at Wizard World, including KISS frontman Gene Simmons and the reunion of John Schneider and Catherine Bach from “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Milani says, "We have been increasingly expanding our celebrity programming, Artist Alley and other offerings to our shows."
Wizard World Comic Con runs Sept. 9-11, and tickets cost $20 to $35 for one-day admission and $50 for a weekend ticket. For more information visit wizardworld.com.