Ryan Lochte and three other Olympic swimmers fabricated the event of a robbery after leaving a party at Club France at 4 a.m. on August 14th.
Lochte’s first story describes him and the three other Olympians that accompanied him: Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen, being pulled over in their taxi with guns pointed at their heads. Lochte says, “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like, we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.” Lochte continued saying, “And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”
At this point people are seeing that Lochte’s story doesn’t add up and although he might appear to be ambivalent about the ordeal, Brazil is not. Two of the swimmers involved were removed on their flight back to the U.S.. Surveillance footage of the swimmers returning to the Olympic Village on Saturday morning shows them joking among themselves and showing no signs of being shaken up whatsoever.
Lochte, already back in the U.S., switched up his story, claiming that the “robber” just pointed the gun in his direction, and did not actually hold it up to his head. He also said they were pulled over when stopping to use the bathroom at a gas station versus their taxi being pulled over.
The true story came out when video surveillance from the gas station, Bara da Tijuca, surfaced and showed the four Olympians vandalizing a bathroom and two of them attempting to flee before being stopped by a guard, who pulled his gun to make them stay. They then pay for the damage and depart for the Olympic Village, arriving around 7 a.m., three hours later then Lochte first claimed they arrived.
The accounts of this story have changed numerous times, downsizing Lochte’s reputation even further. Within 24 hours of the drunken encounter, Lochte lost 4 sponsors: Speedo USA, Ralph Lauren, and Syneron-Candela released statements saying they would not sponsor him.They all released these statements fairly quickly and close together. A Japanese mattress making company soon followed suit, and these events basically stripped Lochte of all income outside of the pool.
The fact that an Olympic swimmer fabricated a serious event just to stay out of trouble is alarming in itself. By now, it is clear that messing around late at night after a party is not uncommon to Lochte’s behavior, but fabricating a serious event just to stay out of trouble is alarming all on its own.
By Callie Solberg