In an Olympic Games that has seen more than its fair share of Twitter flaps -- not to mention the elevation of a glorified towel to Twitter star status -- it should come as no surprise that swimming sensation Ryan Lochte has inspired his very own parody account.
@ItsRyanLochte, an unverified account that has quickly garnered more than 5,000 followers, has been busy posting lovelorn Tweets throughout the afternoon.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old Olympian, who has so far earned five medals, has quickly become one of America's most eligible bachelors -- a label he himself championed in comments made to ESPN The Magazine.
"My last Olympics, I had a girlfriend -- big mistake," Lochte said, before going on to estimate that "70 to 75 percent of Olympians" would have sex during the games.
Lochte's mom recently spoke with NBC's "Today," ostensibly to chat about her son's athletic prowess, but somewhere along the way the conversation shifted to Lochte's sex life.
“He goes out on one-night stands,” Ike Lochte told TODAY.com. “He’s not able to give fully to a relationship because he’s always on the go.”
Perhaps in order to counteract this image (or perhaps to play it up via Twitterverse irony), @ItsRyanLochte has been alternating sappy love advice with understated pleas for affection.
Send her a cute goodnight text while she's sleeping so she wakes up with a smile on her face.— Ryan Lochte (@ItsRyanLochte) August 2, 2012
I'm tired of fighting, I want to be fought for. I'm tired of caring, I want to be cared for. I'm tired of being just me, I wanna be yours.— Ryan Lochte (@ItsRyanLochte) August 2, 2012
Ryan Lochte's real Twitter account, which has more than 643,000 followers, was the subject of its own storyline last week, after the swimmer started getting "weird" in the aftermath of his disappointing fourth place finish in the 200-meter freestyle, the FW notes.
Of course, Lochte is not the only athlete with a Twitter presence.
The prevalence and ease of Twitter is a double-edged sword, of course, as several athletes have also been disciplined or even banned for errant or controversial posts.
Lochte has yet to speak out about his Twitter alter ego, but it's fairly safe to guess someone from his camp will eventually comment on the phenomenon.Visit the London 2012 Big News page for HuffPost's comprehensive Olympic coverage. For a full schedule of Olympic events,