Dario Cantatore/Invision/AP
Tim Nudd
September 14, 2012 11:25 AM

They’ve both triumphed against the best. Are they now winning at romance together?

Ryan Lochte certainly seems enamored with Miss USA Olivia Culpo, lavishing the 20-year-old Rhode Island beauty with compliments at Wednesday’s EleVen by Venus Williams show in New York, part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

“She is beautiful. I love hanging out with her,” the champion U.S. swimmer, 28, told E! News. “She has a great sense of humor. She makes me laugh. She’s just a good girl to hang out with.”

For her part, Culpo says the two are just friends, and that she is single. “People make up things when they see people together,” she tells the New York Post.

Lochte, who seems to have pretty frequent crushes, is particularly impressed by Culpo’s sudden success in the pageant world. (He won his first Olympic medal way back in 2004.)

“She was telling me yesterday how she never did a pageant until like a year ago,” he tells E! “And all of a sudden she’s Miss USA now. She’s got something!”

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