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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam (08/24/2016)

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Lochte and loaded

So obviously we have to talk at least a little bit about everybody's favorite swim-bro.

Olympian Ryan Lochte has been in the news a little bit over the past week or so. Not sure if you heard, but he and some of his fellow Team USA swimmers got into a little bit of hot water down in Rio.

We're not going to go into great detail after all, there have been something like 47 different versions of the story at this point but you probably have the gist: Lochte and his crew got hammered and wound up in a gas station, where they trashed the bathroom and were held by security until the police came and they agreed to pay up for the damages they caused. Only Lochte possessing as he does a large pile of protein powder where his brain should be decided that that was too embarrassing and spun a wildly implausible tale about armed robbery.

Shockingly, trying the same tactics as a naughty eight-year-old didn't hold up under intense scrutiny (or really any other kind). Ever so slowly, Lochte begrudgingly walked back his story in subsequent interviews, finally getting to the point where he might as well be saying 'I was wasted' over and over again until someone turns his microphone off.

Lochte who is what you would get if you magically transformed a half-used bottle of Axe body spray into a person and taught it to swim fast has since lost pretty much his entire roster of sponsors. Oddly enough, major corporations aren't all that eager to be in business with lying idiots whose one marketable skill won't be of interest to most of the world for another three-and-three-quarter years.

By all accounts, the Rio Games were supposed to be a disaster; for the most part, they were not. Sure, there were turds and severed heads floating in the bay. The water in the pools spent most of the Games colored various shades of gross. Some athletes got pickpocketed or robbed or whatever; there was that whole deal with the Irish IOC officials, but that's hardly Rio's fault. Granted, we don't necessarily know how this whole Zika virus thing is going to play out, but really, considering how things looked going in, the Games came together pretty well.

Imagine you're a government official in Rio. You've spent months defending your city's ability to function on an Olympics-size stage, losing sleep over whether athletes are going to be safe both inside and outside your various facilities. The whole world has been telling you that your city is a sthole filled with criminals and that you're going to just ruin the whole thing. And yet, somehow, you and yours pull it together. There are some hiccups, but there always are. In big picture terms, you've made it happen.

And then Ryan Lochte happens. This entitled douche-dolphin starts spouting off at the mouth to anyone who will listen about this terrible thing that happened to him. It's a completely nonsensical story that people nonetheless prove willing to believe because it's the sort of crap they've been primed to expect from Rio. Even as the story rapidly crumbles, the world is still giving Brazil the international relations version of side-eye.

All because a moron who embodies the idiot American a guy whose ability to swim laps has resulted in an inability to comprehend the word no decided that rather than risk being shamed for peeing on a gas station wall, he'd instead tell the world that his life was endangered by some nonexistent thieves.

(And just as an aside, the whole 'kids will be kids' rationale is infuriating the dude is 32 years old. At what point does he stop being a kid and start being a plain old sthead?)

I go back and forth on the Olympics. On the one hand, I enjoy the idea of athletic competition between nations and the chance to watch sports I otherwise never see. On the other hand, I hate that a talking slab of lunch meat like Ryan Lochte is turned into a representative of my country.

To the world at large, all we can say is: we're sorry about Ryan Lochte. If it's any consolation, we also think he sucks.


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