In the midst of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte, James Fiegan, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz allegedly vandalized a bathroom in Rio gas station. Following the vandalism, Lochte claimed that the swimmers were robbed and held at gunpoint.
Brazilian authorites issued a statement Thursday, Aug. 18 insisting that the men were not robbed, but a gun was pointed at one point by a security guard.
As the controversy unfolded, Conger and Bentz were apparently pulled off of their flight back to the United States by Brazilian authorities, but later allowed to leave. Lochte skipped town soon after things erupted, before a Brazillian judge ordered his passport to be seized. Feigan remained behind and was detained by authorities.
Today, Friday Aug. 19 Lochte issued an apology on Twitter for his actions and his involvement in the incident.
Click here to read his apology tweet.
Now in my opinion, there are some holes in Lochte’s apology.
He says that “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.” The issue I have with this is how did Lochte know that the supposed stranger was demanding money to let you go if he previously claimed that he did not speak the language?
And if Lochte really believed his own story that they had been robbed, why would he skip town so quickly? He should have known that leaving Rio so quickly would only raise more questions.
Fiegan’s lawyer issued a statement saying he would donate $10,800, which to me seems like a confession to vandalism, or a giant apology to Brazil for taking the focus off of the once-every-four-year event.
I believe that the athletes should be directing their apologies to all of the Olympic athletes that they took the attention off of during their momentous accomplishments and short time in the spot light.
To me, these swimmers actions were arrogant and disrespectful to the entire Olympic community, and quite frankly make America look careless.