Olympian Lochte Facing Hardship After Lying Scandal

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Ryan Lochte, a United States olympic swimmer, has won 12 Olympic medals throughout his year and is ranked second in the swimming world behind Michael Phelps. In Rio the swimmer came out with an elaborate false story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio 2016; this lie turned into an international scandal and the swimmer was slammed with extreme feelings of remorse. He claimed his fellow teammates, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger were all held at gunpoint at a gas station. Days later after his lie security footage revealed that the swimmers were in fact not held at gunpoint and he brought an extreme amount of embarrassment to US swimming. 

Lochte’s teammates actually vandalized a bathroom and had to repay the gas station for the alleged vandalism. Lochte was not met with a warm welcome when he returned to the United States as he lost all of his sponsors and his fiancee got hit on the head with glass in public and the swimmer had even encountered death threats. In an interview with the sports news outlet ESPN, Loftie expressed on TMZ Sports that he felt like he was the most hated man in the world at the time and he admitted that he contemplated suicide, but 24 hours after he had the interview he claimed that the media twisted his words and that even though he was in a dark place he did not feel suicidal.  

After this scandal, Lochte faced severely dark times and was suspended from swimming for 10 months; he is hoping to make it to the 2020 Olympic team after his suspension is lifted this June. He claims that his son has given him a new purpose and has ignited a fire into his life, this is his motivation to perform in Tokyo 2020.He seeks to redeem himself and claims that his Olympic swimming career is not over. Even though people hated the embarrassment this athlete brought to the United States because of his lie, it is important to remember that even the best of athletes are human and make mistakes from time to time. 

Although, as a society we should not condone illegal behavior by athletes or public figures who then get let off easy because of their status. Lochte and his teammates were intoxicated by alcohol and this is what caused for the group to stumble into trouble and then blame it on a lie. Being famous does not acquit one’s wrongdoings. We are just happy that he is denying being suicidal. Lying is not good, especially as a public figure, but it shouldn't be the end of the world. He apologized and should move on, but that means the world will have to move on too. 

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Liz Chang

Staff Writer

Liz is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. She studied English at Scripps College. She's written plays and novels.