Ryan Lochte is notoriously known for his merman abilities but also for his antics. Lochte was first internationalized on his reality TV show, What would Ryan Lochte do? The show appeared on E! as a mini-series in 2013. It seems that his appeal to reality TV didn’t end there, however. Lochte and his fellow Olympic swimmers James Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Cogner have recently been swept up in a storm of controversy. The team claim that they were robbed 0n Sunday the 14th in Rio. Fair enough, Rio is one of the major crime countries in the world so the story is surely believable BUT it seems that not everyone is convinced. Since news broke about the robbery many have questioned the probability that the crime actually occured. Brazilian police have claimed that Lochte and his fellow swimmers were not, in fact, robbed.
So what actually happened?
After a night of heavy celebrations the team returned to the Olympic Village. They appear calm and collected going through a routine security check; they pass through their cellphones and wallets. This is the evidence that is being brought forward by the Brazilian police. The team seem calm enough in the CCTV footage BUT that’s the problem. The team are perhaps too calm considering they were allegedly just robbed by gunpoint at a petrol station. Their cellphones and wallets are also, very importantly, still in their possession even though the team claim to have had these items stolen in the robbery.
Lochte statement after the ‘incidence’ was accordingly:
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing, just a police badge and they pulled us over. 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.’
“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.”
Despite this vivid account, the petrol attendants claim that the team got into a fight at the petrol station after the attendants demanded that they pay for the damages of vandalized a toilet door. Police are now saying that they invented the story to cover up the fight. More questions were asked especially after the team didn’t report the incident to the police. Police only got involved after the story was reported on TV. Lochte has since returned to the US and Conger and Bentz were allowed to fly home on Thursday after a day of questioning. Feigen remains in Brazil and says he is co-operating with the authorities. This questioning seems necessary because the team mates keep contradicting one another’s story.
Because of the contradicting information and questionable evidence validating that the robbery actually did occur, the US Olympic Committee has formally apologized for the behaviour of the four athletes. A USOC statement released on Thursday appeared to agree with Rio police’s assertions that Lochte’s version of events are false. So what would Ryan Lochte do? Ryan Lochte would apologize for the negative light him and his team have brought to the Rio Olympics. One thing is for sure, it is a pity to have such a controversial situation arise during a time of celebration and prestige.
By: Kriszti Bottyan