Lochte is viewed as the U.S. swimmer who could block Phelps from dominating the Games. Having spent much of his swimming career in Phelps' shadow, the Floridian has emerged in recent years to best him occasionally in international competitions.
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Lochte has said London is "his time," and magazines and other media in search of a new face of the Games have turned to him.
He has signed up for 11 races in Omaha, and surely will scratch a few.
Lochte could provide Phelps with the kind of motivation that will help him maintain his crown. Team Phelps, however, maintains that his goals relate to his own performance and not anyone else's.
"I think what motivates guys like Phelps is to put down a time that's going to last for years," Stewart said.
Jon Urbanchek, the longtime University of Michigan and Olympic coach, agreed.
"I think he's going more for the time than the medals," said Urbanchek, who worked with Phelps when the swimmer moved to Ann Arbor to follow Bowman when Bowman took over the Michigan coaching job.
"That's more specific. You can focus on it. It's a clear goal."
Urbanchek, who has coached more than 40 Olympic swimmers and will bring a group from the Fullerton (Calif.) Aquatics Sports Team to Omaha, said Phelps already has won enough gold medals and set enough world records to last a lifetime.
"He must have some unfinished business," Urbanchek said.
Phelps acknowledged as much at the media gathering in Dallas, although true to form, he's not yet revealing what it might be.
"Once I hang my suit up," he said, "I want to be able to look back and say I've done everything I could in my career."
U.S. Olympic trials
CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.
Monday through July 2
Michael Phelps' schedule if he swims every event he registered for and qualifies for finals:
Monday: 400 individual medley preliminary and final
Tuesday: 200 freestyle preliminary and semifinal
Wednesday: 200 butterfly preliminary and semifinal; 200 freestyle final
Thursday: 100 Freestyle preliminary and semifinal; 200 butterfly final
Friday: 200 backstroke preliminary and semifinal; 200 IM preliminary and semifinal; 100 freestyle final
Saturday: 100 butterfly preliminary and semifinal; 200 backstroke final; 200 IM final
Sunday: 100 butterfly final