Lochte’s Actions Bring Disillusionment, Embarrassment

On August 14, just as the 2016 Rio Olympics were coming to a close, reports first began to surface that Ryan Lochte and three other Olympic swimmers had been held at gunpoint and robbed.

Lochte gave his version of the frightening incident to reporters soon after rumors first appeared.

“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte said in an interview with NBC News.

Lochte went on to describe how the robbers had forced him down on the ground and taken his wallet and money.

The news of the robbery caused concern among many of Lochte’s fans, who were concerned for his safety.

“I guess I was worried ‘cause he’s bae and I was worried about the safety of the other Olympians. I actually believed it [the story] was real because he’s famous,” Junior Horojah Jawara said of her initial reaction to the reports.

It soon became apparent, however, that the story was not true. The Olympic Committee was quick to deny the rumors, and when Rio police released their version of events, it was revealed that Lochte and his teammates had fabricated the entire tale.

After admitting that he and his fellow swimmers had lied, Lochte apologized profusely for his actions.

“I want to apologize for my behavior…for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning,” Lochte said in a statement on Instagram.

However, not everyone was willing to show him forgiveness.

Dimond Senior and swim team member Aleah Rhode was “ashamed by [Lochte’s] actions.

“He made a fool out of himself and made all the other U.S. olympic athletes seem immature,” Rhode said.

Senior Chris Chung, also a member of the Dimond swim team, had similar feelings.

“When I heard that Lochte had over exaggerated his situation of being “held at gunpoint,” I thought that he embarrassed the whole swimming community by accusing Brazilians for their brutality while he was the one who was behaving poorly,” Chung said.

Fans like Rhode and Chung were not the only ones embarrassed by the Olympian’s actions. Following the mishap, Lochte lost all four of his commercial sponsors, the big name brands Speedo, Ralph Lauren, Airweave and Gentle Hair Removal.

Although most people agree that Lochte deserved such punishment, several agree that the scandal may have been blown out of proportion, and others feel sorry for the swimmer.

“I think they detained them [the American swimmers] for a little too long. They used it as political leverage. If they [the swimmers] had done this in America, they would have had them bailed out of jail that same night, but because they’re international celebrities they probably get treated worse because of the international situation,” Dimond art teacher Cullen Lickingteller said.

Physical Education teacher Christine Fisher said, “I feel bad for him somewhat. He made a stupid mistake and it’s going to cost him a lot of money. But people have to take responsibility for their actions and realize that there will be consequences for their mistakes.”

Lochte may not only have lost his major sponsors and income, but also a portion of his fan base.

“Personally, I never really thought highly of Ryan just because he always seemed really full of himself,” Rhode said. “ The Rio incident just solidified my dislike of him. It proved he thought he was better than others and that’s not cool.”