After calling his mother, telling her that he and three of his fellow swimmers from the US Men's Olympic team had been robbed at gunpoint, and retelling his story to NBC's Billy Bush the morning after the purported incident, Ryan Lochte is up to his neck in hot water as the whole ordeal is one really, really bad misunderstanding.
Or, actually, let's call it like it is: Ryan Lochte lied.
Shortly after news of the incident started to circulate, Brazilian authorities called foul on Lochte, saying that he misrepresented what went down that early morning in Rio with a "fantastical version" of the skirmish. This is a big deal for several reasons, a huge one being that Rio de Janeiro is a city where violent crime is not a joke or an inconvenience for travelers; it's a systemic problem affecting the city's population at large. The most disturbing part of the story lies in Lochte's words, though, as his account casually forgot the part when he and Jimmy Feigen, Jack Conger, and Gunnar Bentz left a party at the French House, went to a gas station, and made a total mess of the place before they returned to their quarters at the Olympic Village.
In his initial story, Lochte said that men posing as armed authorities robbed them of some of their possessions (notably, not their cell phones or credentials) at gunpoint; the findings of the police show that the man who pulled a gun on the swimmers was a security guard who did so after one of them vandalized the gas station's bathroom.
Lochte made it back to the States before a Brazilian judged ordered the seizing of his passport, and a couple of his teammates were removed from their plane home so they could meet with officials and provide their testimonies of the incident, which conflicted with Lochte's. Save for the interview with Bush that kickstarted the speculation about the whole debacle, Lochte's kept quiet — until now.
In a statement he posted on Twitter, he addresses his "behavior" that night in Rio, but it sounds less like a heartfelt apology and more like a "sorry not sorry." He starts by saying he should've been "more careful and candid" in his account of the events at the gas station. He goes on to say that while 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," he "should have been much more responsible" with how he handled himself. He closes his note with with an attempt to divert the attention back to the Olympics: "There has already been too much said and too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend, so I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances of these Games and look ahead to celebrating future successes."
He's right about one thing: It's a shame that his choices and actions — along with those of his teammates — tarnished the reputation of Americans abroad and perpetuated the stereotype that hammered bros are gonna do what hammered bros are gonna do. He's wrong in implying that "too much has been said" about a matter that could've been avoided entirely had he simply told the truth.