Ryan Lochte sat in front of America a broken man. Gone was the confident smile that was not long ago covered by a bling-encrusted grill as he stood atop an Olympic medal podium. There was no blue/blonde hair highlighting his playfulness.
All that was left were lies and embarrassment.
Lochte sat down with Matt Lauer, admitting that “I over-exagerrated” the story he told about a night out in Rio when he supposedly was robbed. He sat there, as each question from Lauer seemed to rip into him and his credibility like a parent to a misbehaved child, and all he could say was that he was sorry.
He looked somber and while he stopped short of saying that he’d lied, he admitted that there was no gun cocked to his forehead. He explained that he had drank too much alcohol that night to comprehend what really had happened. He also implied that he was still intoxicated the next day when he offered his initial explanation of events.
“I definitely had too much to drink that night,” Lochte said. “And none of this would have happened if I didn’t do that.”
Even on the air with Lauer, he seemed uncertain as to whether he was robbed or just asked to pay for damages to the owner of the gas station where the events took place, even though there was reportedly someone on the scene translating from Portuguese to English.
“Whether you call it a robbery, whether you call it extortion, or us paying just for the damages, like we don’t know,” Lochte said. “All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction, and we were demanded to give money.”
Lochte admitted that the “over-exaggerated” details of the gas station episode and leaving Rio left his teammates out to dry. At times he seemed to choke back tears lamenting how he “let his teammates down” and how he will take full responsibility for these “shenanigans.”
Asked whether he thought he could come back from this, Lochte was confident that he could.
“I definitely know I can turn this around and become that role model for little kids,” said the swimmer who won a gold medal in the men’s 4×200 freestyle in Rio.
As you can see, the internet was not too kind to Lochte.
Has anyone yet figured out why Ryan Lochte bothered to invent this story? I'm still stuck on that point.
— biscuit pants (@fifthstarter) August 21, 2016
Ryan Lochte doesn't know why he lied. (He was most definitely plastered, that's why.)
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) August 21, 2016
Click here to read more reaction to Lochte’s interview. NBC will air the rest of the interview on Monday.