The Olympics in Rio has ended and the American team came home with the most medals won in a foreign country. Especially the swim team by winning thirty-three medals and the next best team, Australia, won ten medals. However, the swim team wasn’t completely met with smiles and hugs.
Most of you have heard that after the Olympic ceremony, Ryan Lochte and his pals went out for a late ride. He claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint by men who looked like local police officers. The people and the media quickly believed what he said because of the Rio’s notorious crime rates. However, it did not happen the way Lochte had stated, which he told the story on national TV. As the truth slowly started to emerge, Lochte kept changing the story and quickly left the country, where his teammates had to encounter the backlash from Rio.
Security footage emerged soon after which clearly proves Ryan Lochte was lying. The other men had no other choice but to come forward. They ended up vandalizing a gas station while being drunk and the security guard who was working pulled out his gun in order to scare the men into staying until the authorities arrived. Witnesses who translated for the swimmers said they didn’t want to involve the police and offered to pay out of their pockets for the damages. The guard accepted their money and the men left the scene.
It may have been a heart pumping encounter but a lie which ended up hurting the reputation of the swimmers. In an interview with Matt Lauer, he asked Ryan why he lied to the press about the “robbing?” His response was:
“It’s how you want to make it look like. Whether you call it a robbery or whether you call it extortion, or us paying just for the damages. We don’t know. All we known is there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money.”
It’s as if he truly believes in his own story. Ryan did state that he was sorry and felt terrible for leaving his friends to deal with the mess, as well as taking the attention away from the Olympic athletes.
Sadly, the liars are not the only individuals who were affected by this incident. The entire American Olympic team is under the shadow of this horrific story. Now, when you include Gabby Douglas’s response earlier this week, this topic becomes a racial matter. The irony is that the Olympics is about coming together with all the different countries to enjoy the games.
Since the Olympics are over, the athletes are about to face another major task, endorsement deals. Even though Gabby Douglas has gone through a storm concerning her reputation, her stock is actually rising. Many media outlets are supporting her resilience and this can lead her to more endorsement contracts.
When it comes to Lochte, his endorsers are probably seeking legal loopholes in order to drop him because they are afraid of killing their reputation by association; and this could potentially affect the entire American swim team.
In the end, even athletes need to care about their reputation because without their sponsors or fans, they probably won’t get paid or worse, take part in the next Olympics.