USA Swimmer Ryan Lochte Apologizes for Rio Behavior


Ryan Lochte apologized for his conduct last weekend in Rio de Janeiro that precipitated an international scandal involving an alleged robbery and some imbecilic drunken behavior on the part of the 32-year-old gold medalist and three other USA Olympic swimmers.

Although details of the fateful night for Lochte along with Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and James Feigen continues to unravel, a surveillance video shows the Americans kicking down a bathroom door at a Rio gas station and urinating on the premises.

According to CBS Sports, security guards at the gas station stopped the four Americans’ taxi and demanded money from them to pay for the damage they caused at the gas station. The swimmers raise their hands before the exchange in a manner consistent with someone pulling a gun on them.

The report from the police offers a dramatically different interpretation than the one Lochte described on Sunday. The twelve-time Olympic medalist said that he and the others were flagged down by robbers impersonating cops and stole his wallet while pointing a gun to his forehead.

Lochte’s apology on Instagram reads as follows:

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 for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics. I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely.

It’s traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country — with a language barrier — and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that I am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event. I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided. I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.

I am grateful for my USA Swimming teammates and the USOC, and appreciate all of the efforts of the IOC, the Rio ’16 Host Committee, and the people of Brazil who welcomed us to Rio and worked so hard to make sure that these Olympic Games provided a lifetime of great new memories. There has already been too much said and too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend, so I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances of these Games and look ahead to celebrating future successes.

Lochte admits that he should have behaved more responsibly. He claims that it was traumatic being in a country with a bunch of friends, where they speak a different language, and someone points a gun at you. Maybe the superstar could have avoided the “trauma” if he and his buddies didn’t kick down the door of someone else’s property and use the premises as a urinal.