Embarrassment for the Olympic Athletes and an Apology

LochteU.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte concocted a story about being robbed in Rio de Janiero and later apologized. Lochte said he and three other swimmers were robbed by people claiming to be police officers. Turns out, other U.S. swimmers said Lochte was drunk and unruly, and we learned later what actually happened: he vandalized a gas station bathroom, and armed guards approached him.

Lochte posted an apology on Instagram. But the damage extended far beyond the gas station. Rio officials are angry about the hit this incident may have on the city's reputation, and the Olympic's committee is trying to distance itself from Lochte's behavior.


Lochte's statement hasn't satisfied many people. Quoted in The New York Times, sports commentator Rodrigo Mattos said, "Lochte apologizes but doesn't admit lying. He's still portraying himself as a victim. So much arrogance."

Discussion Starters:

  • Why did Lochte lie? How believable was the story, and what role did the other swimmers play?
  • Another approach, of course, is to come forward with the truth even before the story got out. What could have been the consequences of this approach?
  • Should Lochte have said something different in his apology? What is at stake?
  • Do you agree with Mattos's views that Lochte is arrogant? How would you define arrogance, and how does Lochte show this trait?