Three detained American swimmers “were collaborating” and supplying “further statements to the Brazilian authorities” on Thursday, based on the United States Olympic Committee.
It’s happening at the so-called Rio Tourist Police station near Ipanema Beach, where a massive throng of international media are stationed for a prep talk.
Yeah, it’s come to this: The story of the Olympics, a likely imitation claim of robbery at the end of a drunken night of debauchery turned into global report frenzy of a marketing-crazy swimmer-turned-reality TV-star who, unlike his three pals – teammates Jimmy Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz – is home safe in the USA.
This is likely bad news for Ryan Lochte, who appears to have discovered his three compatriots throwing him under the bus to authorities. At least two of the swimmers are in the jail, and have reportedly told police Lochte made the narrative up.
Not that Lochte could have envisioned this coming.
Down here, authorities don’t believe his story of being mugged at gunpoint Sunday, but also view his entire story as nothing but an attempt to further denigrate and humiliate its law enforcement and the country.
The truth is Ryan Lochte was secure and safe in Rio. The Brazilians have thus far done an admirable job guarding Olympic athlete areas.
His fellow swimmers should be even more mad than the Brazilians are with Lochte. None of this becomes an international incident without Lochte trying to turn it into a Kardashian-esque marketing opportunity.
“Let’s give these kids a rest. Sometimes you take actions that you later regret. Lochte is among the finest swimmers of all times. They had fun, they made a mistake, life goes on.”
Of course, Lochte is 32 years old, and no “kid.” Lochte’s marketing machine kicked in with Lochte’s mother as a confirming source, as word of the robbery leaked to the press. Then his team of representatives pushed back on the doubts from Rio police and the IOC.
Then Lochte merely couldn’t shut up and had to go with Billy Bush – whose full-time job is with Access Hollywood – on NBC and describe an outrageous chain of events.
“These guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing, merely a police badge, and we got pulled over, in the taxi and they pulled us out,” Lochte said. “They pulled their guns out, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground – they got down on the ground.”
“I put my hands up, he cocked it, set it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,” I was like whatever. He got our money, he got my wallet – he left my cell phone and my credentials.