In the world of Olympic swimming, the United States tends to dominate without question. Their commitment to winning is undeniably implemented in their progressive work ethic and style. Though there was incredible controversy where a certain night went completely awry.
According to a statement by Ryan Lochte to Brazilian officials, Lochte was a victim of theft and attempted murder. This statement was a vague blur, resulting in the Brazilian government’s efforts to combat the case. The Brazilian government was not amused when checking surveillance of a particular gas station, which Lochte was visiting in an early morning (drunken) outing. This in itself was an issue, because the Olympic Committee instructs all of its athletes to return to the campus at a certain, designated time.
After the night out, Lochte appeared on a television interview with Matt Lauer restating his innocence, still claiming that he truly was robbed of his belongings at gunpoint. The world turned to this Olympic swimmer with sincere sympathy, which later turned to pure disgust. Once the Brazilian officials began reviewing the tapes, they found that Lochte was not being harassed by supposed “fake police officers,” but was vandalizing and defiling the gas station he visited. After the truth of the early morning came out, Lochte was in deep water.
The Olympic gold medalist tweeted a sincere apology pertaining to the real part of the story. In essence, there was only a confrontation with the cab driver that wanted nothing to do with the American swimmer.
Lochte tweeted, “I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend- for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics.”
The waters of the 2016 Rio Olympics tried to focus on coming together, but when a story like this hits the headlines it does nothing but separate sides.
Fortunately, Ryan Lochte found safe haven when he returned to the United States a free man.
As far as his fellow athletes that partook in the early morning shenanigans with Lochte, they received a different farewell from Brazilian officials. Jack Cougar and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight on the day of their departure early Wednesday. They later were released after being questioned about the incident. James Feigen, the last Olympic athlete that was with the other swimmers, revised his statement to regain his passport.
According to a report, Feigen will donate nearly $11,000 to Brazilian charities to make up for his childish wrongdoings.