Locked in Ice Cold Water

Omar Rashad, Sports Editor

Ryan Lochte has found himself in cold water after a week-long saga exposed what really happened at a Rio De Janeiro gas station.

Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. Olympic swimmers stopped at a gas station for a pit stop where they found a locked restroom. The swimmers proceeded to vandalize the premise and according to Florida Today, “… one of them broke down the bathroom door and police found damage to a soap dispenser and a mirror”. The swimmers fled the premise as gas station workers approached them, but were then stopped by security guards who demanded payment for the damage. The very next day Lochte proceeded to tell a completely different story in which he detailed that armed assailants, pretending to be police officers forced the swimmers out of a taxi and onto the ground at gunpoint where they were all robbed of their money.

Initially, this was taken as a truthful recounting, because there was no evidence refuting the story, but little did Lochte know, there were security tapes. The tapes contradicted Lochte’s story in which he recounted many times to interviewers that he was held at gunpoint, even at one time saying, “The guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and said ‘get down’” (Today News). The security tapes showed no such events and since being released, has caused a downward spiral for the four-time Olympic swimmer.

The tapes revealed that Lochte had in fact fabricated his story, and since then, four sponsors dropped the famous swimmer, including Polo Ralph Lauren and Speedo. Although having negative repercussions towards the U.S. Olympic Team, Lochtegate has proven to become an infamous highlight of the 2016 Olympics. Daibik Chakraborty (10), a Sophomore on West’s swim team, said, “I believe it was immature for Ryan Lochte to behave so recklessly in wake of coming back from a party and also being intoxicated with alcohol”.

Lochte has said in interviews before the gas station scandal that he hopes to compete in 2020 at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. In order to do so he will have to make a large change. Like how Jasmine Nguyen (11), a junior on West’s Varsity Swim Team, said, “Even though he has lost respect, Lochte has to keep training hard and watch his actions from now on.”