by Jett Gonzales – Staff Reporter
The 2016 Summer Olympics was a success for the United States, but there was one unfortunate event that took away from that success. Ryan Lochte, 12-time Olympic medalist, was at the center of a terrible lie that hurt the reputation of not only the Olympic team but also the country.
Many athletes and non-athletes around the globe respect Lochte for his array of accomplishments in and out of the pool. But, after learning about what he did in Brazil, it was hard for many to believe that he would do something so horrible.
On Lochte and three other Olympic swimmers, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigan were all caught in a lie in which they tried to make it seem that they were victims of an armed robbery in Brazil. The swimmers claimed that they were pulled over in their taxi and robbed at gunpoint.
But, Rio police claim that the four swimmers were drunk and vandalized a gas station. They also said that security guards working at the gas station had shown a badge and recognized that a gun was drawn.
Lochte ended up taking full responsibility and admitted his mistakes. In an Instagram post, Lochte apologized. He said, “for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning.”
This incident was not only embarrassing for Lochte and the Olympic swim team, but also for America. It took away from the amazing performances of the U.S. Olympians in Rio.
The U.S. women swept the 100m hurdles, Helen Maroulis became the first U.S. woman to win gold in wrestling, women’s gymnastics was demolishing the field, Katie Ledecky was making world class swimmers look insignificant, and Usain Bolt became the first man to win gold in the 100m and 200m 3 Olympics in a row. These were all amazing performances, but many of them were over shadowed by the enormous mistake that Lochte made.
Lochte and company could have just told the truth. Sure, telling the truth would have been hard, and there still would have been consequences, but lying about it and making the issue greater than it should have been, had no benefit at all.
Lochte did not get off empty handed, the swimmer payed dearly for his mistakes. He has lost all of his sponsors and his actions have made him an embarrassment to America. Hopefully other athletes, and just people in general, can learn from his mistake.