12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte was suspended for 10 months by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Swimming earlier this morning. This is due to the aftermath of his well-publicized incident in Rio de Janerio last month. The three other swimmers; Gunnar Bentz, 20; Jack Conger, 21, and Jimmy Feigen, 26, received four month bans. Bentz also received 10 hours of community service because he violated the team code of conduct by heading out of the athletes’ village after the swimmers had been told only those 21 or older were allowed to leave.
We saw the aftermath after Lochte’s mother, Ileana, told USA TODAY Sports that his son was robbed at gun point that began a week-long news story. Lochte lied about the incident as Rio authorities found video evidence of the swimmers vandalizing a gas station washroom. Bentz and Conger were pulled off their plans for further questioning and had to pay an $11,000 settlement to avoid charges. However, Rio authorities will pursue a case against Lochte.
On top of his suspension, Lochte will forfeit $100,000 in bonus money that went towards his gold medal. He is also banned from the 2017 World Championships next July in Budapest while denied access to any USOC training centres’, 20 hours of community service, and will miss Team USA’s post-Olympic trip to the White House.
Lochte may have destroyed his career and his brand, but he lost his credibility big time. Not only that, he also hurt his teammates, the USOC and the US. For his false claims of being robbed he lost multiple sponsors including Speedo, and Ralph Lauren. He did pick up a deal endorsing Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops.
It’s easy to say that Lochte is getting what he deserves and it is true since he embarrassed himself and ruined his image. But now he has a quick chance to turn things around, becoming a contestant on the 23rd season of Dancing with the Stars.
You may be thinking that it’s odd to see Lochte be on the hit-reality show so soon. The show has become a major stop for celebrities who are attempting a comeback or they’re just relevant in the time being (Bristol Palin, Rob Karadashian, Tom DeLay and Hope Solo).
Lochte being a contestant on the show actually might be his ticket to change his less than desirable reputation. This will place him in front of the public eye once again, only this time; it’s heavily edited by producers. So it’ll be up to him if he wants to turn the reality competition into his redemption story.
Ryan Lochte made a mistake but there is opportunity to be found when we make mistakes. Learning, and growing from them. It’s time for him to hang up the speedo for the dancing shoes. And who knows, Lochte might just tango his way out of this one.