Ryan Lochte Considered Suicide After Rio Olympics Scandal

Ford Springer | Contributor

Ryan Lochte’s participation at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will not be remembered for his contribution to a gold medal for the United States. Instead, the American swimmer’s time in Brazil will forever be remembered for the public scandal that resulted from a night of celebrating gone wrong.

REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Last summer, Lochte became the focus of a huge scandal after claiming that he and his fellow Team USA swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in the host city. The 32-year-old swimmer admitted that he was “hammered” when he initially made the claim that night, but later repeated it on NBC’s “Today” show.

The public reaction to the scandal had a significant impact on the swimmer and even led him to contemplate suicide, according to an interview with ESPN The Magazine published Tuesday.

“After Rio, I was probably the most hated person in the world,” Lochte said. “There were a couple of points where I was crying, thinking, ‘If I go to bed and never wake up, fine.'”

When the interviewer asked if that meant he considered suicide, Lochte nodded. “I was about to hang up my entire life.”

“You can be at the all-time high and then the next second the all-time low,” he added.

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Lochte quickly moved along with his life though, got engaged and is expecting a child with his Playboy model fiancée. And despite the fallout from the six-time gold medalist’s mistakes in Rio, the swimmer is focused on getting back in the pool to dominate the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “Look, I was done with swimming back in 2013. I was drained, wiped out. Now I’ve found a new purpose with my son. This fire has been ignited, and it’s bigger than ever, and I’m just so excited because I know what’s going to happen in Tokyo. Everyone is going to have to watch out!”

Ford Springer

Contributor

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