Ryan Lochte finished fourth in the 200-meter freestyle Monday, but it didn't diminish a fantastic night of swimming at the Olympics. In fact, it might have made them even better.
Daniel Ochoa De Olza/AP
Monday night at the Aquatics Centre was filled with no shortage of brilliant stories.
What about 17-year-old Missy Franklin, the native of Aurora, Colo., winning the first of what could be four individual medals in the 100-meter backstroke?
Or how about two swimmers that probably no Americans have ever heard of – countrymen Matt Grevers and Nick Thoman – pulling off the first American gold-silver sweep of the London swimming program in the men's 100-meter backstroke?
Or Ritu Meilutyte, the 15-year-old Lithuanian who appeared bewildered on the pool deck, seemingly unable to grasp the fact that she had actually won the women's 100-meter breaststroke by the length of one of her green, red, and yellow-painted fingernails?
But not one of them featured Mr. Lochte stroking through the pool like an aquatic Colossus, leaving only a trail of seared swimming caps in his wake. In fact, in Lochte's race, it would be criminal not to celebrate Yannick Agnel, the Frenchman who conjured up a repeat of his gold-medal performance Sunday to win the 200-meter freestyle Monday in a swim so fast it seemed to leave contrails in the East London water.