In a stunning example of non-self-awareness and redundant phrases, Lochte said he “over-exaggerated that story” of the alleged robbery in Rio. He said he didn’t know why he “fabricated that part,” but repeated that he was intoxicated and a gun was pointed at him.
“I was intoxicated,” Lochte said. “I was immature, and I made a stupid mistake. I’m human, and I’m just really sorry.”
Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medal winner in swimming who somehow had never been told that blond hair dye turns green in chlorine, insisted that he continued to tell his lies because he was worried about his fellow teammates leaving the country. Although common sense would indicate the opposite would be true, since the other three could have their passports pulled and be detained, Lochte said he was “hurt” by the coverage that he left his teammates down.
Last week, Lochte said he and three swimming teammates had been robbed at gunpoint by men posing as police. Although the International Olympic Committee initially denied the reports, Lochte’s mother confirmed the story. The IOC confirmed the story, likely falling in line because it seemed like the most embarrassing security lapse yet, given how high-profile Lochte is, and Lochte himself confirmed it to NBC News. Perhaps the most realistic part of the story was that Lochte said "whatever" when being told to get on the ground during a robbery.
But it fell apart quickly. On Wednesday, a Brazilian judge ordered the swimmers stay in the country, but Lochte had already left. After reviewing security footage, Rio police said the swimmers had not been held up but rather had vandalized a gas station bathroom and offered money to pay for the damages. On Friday, Gunnar Bentz said the swimmers had not vandalized the restroom, but admitted they had urinated on a wall nearby and offered compensation to the gas station owner.
On Sunday, the U.S. Olympic Committee CEO said the swimmers will face disciplinary action.
Since it’s 2016 and white men who outright lie still don’t really have to explain themselves, we can only imagine what will happen next. Maybe Lochte will take a cue from Donald Trump and say he was being “sarcastic.”
In an inability to admit the story was a lie, Lochte told Lauer that "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."
At least we'll always have Al Roker to call it what it was.