Back to Top

Lochte's lies lead to second chances

Ryan Lochte posing with Phelps at the 2016 Olympics. (Agência Brasil photo/Fernando Frazão)

I remember watching the 2016 Summer Olympic events and the tingling feelings of anxiety and joy while my tears streamed down my face as the USA men’s swimming team broke records and won gold medal after gold medal. 

Lochte. Bentz. Conger. Feigen.

Four familiar names that will go down in history. Now, not in a good way.  If you witnessed any of the Olympics, you know the emotional and stressful roller-coaster ride an athlete can endure.

I felt sorry for him and his teammates. When Lochte’s announcement of his altercation was first public, many others did as well.  Traveling to and from another country is always stressful, and then performing professionally on top of all the traveling stress, must weigh heavily. 

However, as a professional athlete, there comes a higher level of responsibility.  First off, getting drunk was a mistake.  I understand they need to unwind or relax or destress. Although, getting drunk was not the solution. Out of the blue the incident happened and was immediately explained untruthfully to the other athletes, the head swimming coach and even to Lochte’s own mother. 

Now, the athletes are caught in a lie.  The truth came out, the damage to the gas station and all that entails.  Lochte has apologized and changed his story, somewhat. He gave an interview to show “his side” of the story. He cried. He claimed he was sorry. Claiming you were robbed and had a gun held to your head is one story.  Destroying property and lying about being robbed at gun point is another.

Lochte now has endorsing deals, after losing the major ones he carried while swimming in Rio with Speedo and Ralph Lauren.  One item he is endorsing is a portable alarm system. He currently appears on the hit show "Dancing with The Stars" for its 23rd season.  Will he get (and keep) his second chances? There comes a higher level of responsibility for athletes.  America gives second chances.  Presumably, two chances are all Lochte gets, one chance too many.