When I first read that Ryan Lochte had fabricated his story considering a supposed armed robbery of he and three other United States swimmers, I was incredibly bothered. As an Olympian, you represent your country in the world’s largest athletic competition which is rivaled in scope only by World Cup qualifying.
This privilege means that what you do in your respective sport will not only increase your country’s medal count and increasing its athletic prestige but that poor behavior reflects badly on your teammates and fellow citizens. I have traveled abroad and there is a stereotype that American’s are obnoxious and now liars may be added to that, especially in Host Nation Brazil which admittedly does have a higher crime rate than is desirable.
In actuality, it is that high crime rate that makes Lochte’s statements so despicable because now local investigators in Rio de Janiero, a city which has a murder rate around 28 per 100,000 people as of 2012, have had to waste their time and resources looking for evidence that this buffoon got robbed at gunpoint. Now they did uncover a crime, Lochte and crew vandalized a gas station and among other things urinated on the establishment, but it is still a waste of their time that they had to take this claim seriously. It also gives the appearance that Lochte does not appreciate the devastating and heart-wrenching impact that violent crime has not just on Brazilian families in the favelas of Rio but also his fellow United States Citizens. There are also reports that while Lochte was telling Matt Lauer he “over-exaggerated” (the word is lied, Ryan) what happened that he was still under the influence of alcohol.
It is for his lies, property damage, and his total lack of understanding of what a problem violent crime is in our world that the United States Olympic Committee should respond so harshly that notoriously draconian NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will call them for pointers on how to be tough on athlete discipline. The penalty? The forfeiture of his rights to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, a formal,sincere, and sober apology where he admits exactly what he did.
The forfeiture of his rights to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, a formal,sincere, and sober apology where he admits exactly what he did. Usually, top athletes only miss Olympiads when they have tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (Justin Gatlin missed the 2008 Olympics for that reason) or they have injured themselves so severely they can’t move a limb. This is a special case though as Lochte has caused an international incident that involves a foreign country’s police force, disrespecting victims of violent crime, and juvenile behavior which shows that despite 12 Olympic Medals and being above the age of 16 he still has behavioral issues. If his punishment is severe enough, maybe Ryan will learn the hard way what my father told me before I went to Greece as a 16-year-old tourist: “Don’t act like an idiot in public, especially when you are a guest in a Foreign Country”.
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