Lochte, and the Lost Night

Sierra Lewis, Cactus, Writer

Copacabana beach glistened in the Brazilian sunset. The Olympics was well under way. History was being made in the pool at the Olympic Park in the aquatics center. The world’s eyes were watching in wonder as the one of the greatest Olympians of all time would be taking his final swim, but little did we know it was not the records and medals that would make the headlines the next morning. It would be the frightening and mysterious story from members of the USA swim team that would intrigue the world for the rest of the run in Rio.

A story emerges Sunday morning that four team USA swimmers have been mugged in Rio, one being the very high profile athlete Ryan Lochte. An NBC correspondent speaks with Lochte just a few hours after the story has broken and films an interview on his iPhone with the athlete. Ryan tells the story summing up that on the swimmers’ way back from “France House,” a club that is set up for the Olympics and hosted by France specifically for athletes, they were stopped and held up at gun point.

Just a day after the story breaks questions soon arise about how the mugging actually took place. Brazilian police claim they cannot find the evidence of this mugging actually taking place. The ongoing mystery of what happened in Rio soon begins. Lochte arrives home Tuesday to the US, just a day and a half after the original story comes out, the same day that Brazilian officials call to retain Lochte’s passport until he comes in for proper questioning about the incident. Two of the swimmers who were also involved Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, get pulled off a flight out of Rio back to the US, and are detained for questioning, Lochte has an over the phone interview with NBC again and sticks to his story, and the fourth man involved Jimmy Feign cannot be found.

After Bentz and Conger are released and it is confirmed the story was fabricated by the swimmers, Feign turns himself in and agrees to pay close to $11,000 to Brazilian charity’ies. The real story surfaces that the swimmers stopped at a gas station, when at the gas station in the early morning hours still quite intoxicated they presume to rip down a poster on the gas station wall, and partially vandalize the bathroom stall. During the incident security is called and after the swimmers get back in the taxi they are asked to get back out and put their hands over their head. They agree to pay the station for the damage and go back to the Olympic village where later the mugging story comes into play.

Lochte soon releases an apology explaining his actions and admitting to still being quite intoxicated when giving the first NBC interview the next morning. When back in the states NBC holds a second interview with Lochte where he apologizes for his actions and explains how this night of partying turned into a night of confusion and trouble. He asks for the country’s forgiveness and speaks out about his sponsors such as, Speedo, and Polo by Ralph Lauren the official outfitter of team USA, dropping him. Lochte hopes that he can work on his public image, and hopes that children do not look down upon him and for what happened that fateful night but remember him for what he has done in the pool and the great athlete he knows he can conduct himself as. Lochte still awaits official punishment from the USOC.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);