The Olympics are a big deal! Hundreds of athletes competing for gold and glory, with hundreds of millions of people watching worldwide. So one would think people will notice if they screwed up. Apparently, not if your name is Ryan Lochte! Never mind Usain Bolt breaking the sound barrier…again, or Michael Phelps’ impressive pile of Gold medals, this year, all eyes are peeled on the Rio Olympics for all the wrong reasons, or just one…and his name is Ryan Lochte.
It’s not that we’re being over critical of the competitive swimmer, but his recent bogus robbery case has got many talking. Mainly because he’s a 12-time Olympic medalist, the holder of four world records, and someone who is considered by many to be the best swimmer in the world second only to Michael Phelps. So, what made the 32-year old come up with the phony felony? Let’s take a look at the incident that took place according to Lochte, and then talk about what really went down during the wee hours of 14th August.
According to Lochte, a decorated Olympian, he and three of his teammates, Jack Conger (21), Gunnar Bentz (20) and James Feigen (26) were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station by armed men who were impersonating police officers. Since this story began, it has taken quite a few twists and turns, with Brazilian police disagreeing with the young Olympians on the events which took place according to their statements.
According to Lochte’s initial report of the incident before returning to the US, he and his teammates were robbed at gunpoint at a local gas station while they were on their way back to the Olympic Village from a late night out celebrating. Lochte described how one of the robbers pressed a gun to his head and robbed them of their money, but strangely enough, let them keep their phones.
Well, that dramatic account of events has since been tempered down by Lochte, especially after two of his teammates have given statements that they were not victims of armed robbery. The understandably angry Brazilian authorities came up with CCTV footage that says otherwise. So, what really happened?
Authorities allege that after a boozy night out, Lochte and his friends stopped at a gas station where they vandalized the public restroom. Lochte, who is known for his notoriously hard partying ways, apparently got so violent that the employees of the gas station had to escort them out. The robbery story was just a cover up. But, with all the confusion and contradictions in all four statements, at least the four Olympians agree on one thing – all four were sauced, as in relaxed (as in very…).
The incident has quickly transcended the Olympics and has turned into a point of tension for the host nation and the United States, both of which have come under scrutiny – the former for their country’s representatives’ false reporting of a crime, and the latter for their lax security measures during the Olympic Games.
The series of unfortunate events that has been shared and amplified by social media led the United States Olympic Committee to issue an apology for the incident. And the seemingly unremarkable CCTV clip has now become the center of attention for Brazilian authorities, and the American Olympian who could be starring down the barrel of criminal charges.