Lochte at an Aug. 12 Olympics press conference.
Turns out the swimmer’s narrative doesn’t quite hold water.
Brazilian officials said Thursday that stellar U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated his story about being cheated at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro, inventing his tale of woe after a much different encounter with authorities.
That’s the latest in the most recent surreal assembly of the 2016 Olympics’ strangest tale. But there’s way, channel more to unpack here so let’s do that.
As Lochte’s story was questioned and unraveled during the past few eras, the whodunit of what did or didn’t happen to him and three Team USA swimming teammates became an internet spectacle par excellence. Jokes and more jokes were deployed with the #LochteGate hashtag. Faves and retweets were had by all.
But Lochte’s apparently fictitious robbery isn’t merely fodder for internet jokes. It isn’t precisely a zany mishap from a weird young man. It’s not just a “hand in the cookie jar” thing.
Taken in context, it’s humiliating. It crystallizes the 2016 Tournament beneath their surface-layer spectacle, laying bare the raw core of the reasons why these Olympics and what they stand for are so grotesque in the first place.