Over-consumption of alcohol and a general lack of maturity on certain levels contributed to the fiasco that has now become synonymous with Ryan Lochte’s name, he conceded to Matt Lauer, regarding the string of events that led to an unfavorable outcome for members of the United States swim team at the Summer Olympics in Rio.
Lochte says that although he continued to tell the armed-robbery story, he was still intoxicated while doing so, and is regretful for his untrue statements. He said it was difficult because the situation was open to interpretation, and everyone had a different one.
”It’s how you want to make it look like. Whether you call it a robbery or whether you call it extortion or us just paying for the damages, we don’t know. All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money. We just wanted to get out of there.”
When Matt Lauer asked him if they were “striking a deal” with Rio police, Lochte confirmed he felt this was the case. However, he added that he had told a story about the “mean streets of Rio” that is not entirely accurate. He said that this was partially to cover up for dumb, intoxicated, and immature behavior. That’s why he said that regardless of what stories are being told, and how much of each may be true, he is taking responsibility for the only part he can: his words and behavior.
”That’s why I’m taking full responsibility for it, because I over-exaggerated the story. If I had never done that, we wouldn’t be in this mess. I definitely had too much to drink that night and I was very intoxicated.”
Lochte, known for his free-spirited and individualist personality, had sported shocking bleach-white hair to the Olympics, which had taken on a green hue from the chemicals in the pool water. However, when he was stateside with Matt Lauer, his hair was dyed brown and he appeared sober and remorseful for his behavior.
”Brazil doesn’t deserve that. I am sorry that my immaturity caused all this ruckus.”
[Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images]