Ryan Lochte Loses Two Major Sponsors

Two major sponsors for U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte have announced they will no longer be associated with Lochte in the aftermath of his “overexaggerated” version of events regarding a late night drunken spree in Rio during the recent games.

While Speedo announces they are terminating his contract, Ralph Lauren says his endorsement was only through the Rio Olympics and they will not be renewing his contract.

From ABC News:

“Speedo USA today announces the decision to end its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte. As part of this decision, Speedo USA will donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte’s fee to Save the Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA’s parent company, for children in Brazil,” the company said in a statement.

“While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for. We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience,” the company added.

Ralph Lauren noted in its statement that it “continues to proudly sponsor the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic team and the values that its athletes embody.”

“Ralph Lauren’s endorsement agreement with Ryan Lochte was specifically in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the company will not be renewing his contract,” Ryan J. Lally, the vice president of global corporate communications for the company, said in a statement.

Lochte gave a tearful apology while speaking in-depth to NBC’s Matt Lauer yesterday wherein he repeatedly stated he was taking full responsibility for his actions.

You can view that interview here.

Ryan Lochte Offers Tearful Apology For Rio Incident

In an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer, 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte offers a tearful apology for what he repeatedly called “over-exaggerating” the details of his previous versions of his late night encounter last Sunday night in Rio at the 2106 Summer Olympics.

He also says many times throughout the interview that he wants to take “full responsibility” for his actions, and he apologizes to the people of Rio and the country of Brazil for insinuating anything negative about the host city, and to his fellow Olympians for distracting from their accomplishments throughout this past week.

From NBC News:

In an interview with TODAY Sunday, Lochte said an armed robber pointed a gun at his forehead and cocked the weapon. In the interview that aired Saturday, Lochte said that was made up.

“That didn’t happen and that’s why — I over-exaggerated that part, ” Lochte said. The gun was drawn and pointed in his direction but was never at his forehead, Lochte said.

Asked why he would make up the dramatic detail, Lochte said: “I don’t know why.” He added it was hours after the incident occurred and he was still intoxicated.

“I’m not making me being intoxicated like an excuse, I’m not doing that at all,” Lochte said. “It was my fault and I shouldn’t have said it.”

Lauer asked Lochte why he had maintained they were “victims” in his statements to police and to the media.

“It’s how you want to make it look like. Whether you call it a robbery, whether you call it extortion, or us paying just for the damages, like, we don’t know,” Lochte responded. “All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction, and we were demanded to give money.”

“We just wanted to get out of there,” Lochte said. “We were all frightened. And we wanted to get out of there as quick as possible. And the only way we knew is — this guy saying, ‘You have to give him money.’ So we gave him money, and we got out.”

I think watching the full interview puts some things in perspective.

I can’t defend Lochte, but I will say I think he’s aware that he made an immature mistake. And I also think, without being mean-spirited, that he’s just not the sharpest tool in the shed. I think he had a knee-jerk reaction in the middle of what he feared would be – and did become – an international incident.

You can watch the full interview here.

Woofy Olympian Of The Day: Ben Provisor

Thanks to Wicked Gay Blog for pointing up the fine attributes of U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler Ben Provisor. You can find more Olympic wrestlers at the link.

USA! USA! USA! Woof!

A photo posted by Ben Provisor (@ben_provisor74kg) on Apr 11, 2016 at 3:56pm PDT
A photo posted by Ben Provisor (@ben_provisor74kg) on Apr 3, 2016 at 7:36am PDT

Ryan Lochte Issues Apology For “Not Being More Careful And Candid”

After days of lengthy international reporting regarding four U.S. Olympic swimmers who couldn’t seem to get their stories straight about a night on the town gone wrong, 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte has issued an “apology” for not being “more careful and candid” in how he related his version of events last Sunday night.

“This was a situation that could and should have been avoided,” Lochte said. “I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.”

The statement was posted on his Instagram.

Lochte originally told the press that he and 3 fellow U.S. swimmers were robbed at gun point by police, but the story upon examination was not holding up.

While Lochte quickly returned to the U.S., his fellow accomplices Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were questioned by police.

Bentz and Conger were dramatically removed from their plane at the airport as they attempted to leave the country. After speaking with police, Bentz and Conger were finally allowed to leave Brazil last night.

Even as they made their way home, an attorney for the two told the press, “They did not make any untruthful testimony. They did not lie in their statements.”

Feigen has apparently agreed to make a $10,800 payment in order to be allowed to leave the country later Friday, his lawyer said.

All in all, this has been a silly mess begun by a drunk 32 year old frat boy, and then perpetuated by police officials upset their city’s reputation had been besmirched.

Can we now go back to paying attention to the important things at the Olympics, like U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva doing a fun strip tease?

A photo posted by Ryanlochte (@ryanlochte) on Aug 19, 2016 at 7:11am PDT

Ryan Lochte Covers The New York Post: “The Ugly American”

From Mike Vaccaro at the New York Post:

Sometimes, as I’ve traveled overseas, I’ve been troubled by that notion, of the assumption of the Ugly American. I’ve thought it a cartoon, a caricature, whose time was surely over.

And then, sometimes, you see someone like Ryan Lochte open his mouth.

And when you hear what comes tumbling out, it all makes perfect sense.

That’s the worst part of what Lochte and his stable of stumble-bumbling swimmer pals have done the past few days, now that it’s apparent that whatever might have happened to them late one night — actually, early one morning — in Rio, it wasn’t exactly the way Lochte described it the first time around.

In fact, it seems apparent that Lochte and his cohorts in chaos — Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, all swimmers representing the US in a decidedly different way than Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps did — were using the old “robbed-at-gunpoint” chestnut as cover for what was apparently a gas station encounter with a security guard and, quite hilariously, a bathroom door.

[snip]

The Ugly American is alive and well in 2016 thanks to this dope. Thanks for that, Ryan. Now don’t let the bathroom door hit you on the ass on your way to Palookaville.

Zac Efron Surprises Women’s Gymnastic Team At Rio Olympics

Zac Efron with the U.S. Women’s gymnastic team

Ok, this is about the cutest thing ever.

With the caption “We just met Zac Efron,” Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez shared the most exuberant news that the team’s all-time fave showed up to celebrate the women’s gymnastic team’s most awesome performances at the Rio Olympics.

It’s become an internet meme that golden girl Simone Biles is over the moon for the hunky movie star, complete with life size cardboard cut out of him in her bedroom closet. So, just imagine this moment 🙂

I’m thrilled for the girls – they deserve every treat available. And I definitely call Zac a tasty “treat.”

Zac Efron with Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez

News Round-Up: August 16, 2016

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Today is Madonna’s birthday. And Ricky loved Madonna. (You really must read this.)

• Is NBC’s Olympic coverage homophobic?

• Lifelong registered Republican and CEO of MGM Resorts is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

• Aetna will look to reduce participation in 11 of 15 Obamacare exchanges because many policyholders are actually sick and need treatment.

• Latest polls shows Hillary Clinton leading in Virginia by 14 points and in Florida by 9 points.

• The Daily Beast reporter Nico Hines, who authored the homophobic Grindr report from the Rio Olympics, has had credentials revoked and sent home to London.

The Daily Beast’s Nico Hines

Michael Phelps Approach To Olympic Gold: “Rule Yourself”

Check this awesome video salute to the incredible effort and work ethic that Olympic golden boy Michael Phelps knocks out on a daily basis in this new “Rule Yourself” campaign from Under Armour.

Work, weight room, diet, daily sacrifice are all components of the 23-time Olympic gold medal winner’s incredible investment in his sport.

With an equally inspiring tagline to match: “It’s what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light.”

Rio Olympics: Ryan Lochte & 3 Other US Swimmers Robbed At Gun Point

From NBC News:

U.S. Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint while in Rio de Janeiro overnight Saturday, NBC News has confirmed.

Following conflicting reports — including the IOC denying any incident took place — Lochte himself confirmed with TODAY’s Billy Bush that he and the other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint.

“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte said. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.

“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, “Get down,” and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”

An IOC spokesman originally denied the story before reversing itself.

Lochte is a 12-time Olympic medalist (six gold), winning gold at the Rio Olympics in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

The Daily Beast Removes Homophobic Grindr Report: “We Were Wrong”

After an enormous uproar over The Daily Beast publishing a sleazy, unscrupulous article wherein a “reporter” fired up Grindr down at the Rio Olympics and attempted to schedule “dates” for what ended up being a mocking, homophobic and condescending result, the editors posted this message to readers announcing the article has now been removed.

Today, The Daily Beast took an unprecedented but necessary step: We are removing an article from our site, “The Other Olympic Sport In Rio: Swiping.”

The Daily Beast does not do this lightly. As shared in our editor’s note earlier today, we initially thought swift removal of any identifying characteristics and better clarification of our intent was the adequate way to address this. Our initial reaction was that the entire removal of the piece was not necessary. We were wrong. We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story.

Today we did not uphold a deep set of The Daily Beast’s values. These values—which include standing up to bullies and bigots, and specifically being a proudly, steadfastly supportive voice for LGBT people all over the world—are core to our commitment to journalism and to our commitment to serving our readers.

As a newsroom, we succeed together and we fail together, and this was a failure on The Daily Beast as a whole, not a single individual. The article was not intended to do harm or degrade members of the LGBT community, but intent doesn’t matter, impact does. Our hope is that removing an article that is in conflict with both our values and what we aspire to as journalists will demonstrate how seriously we take our error.

We were wrong. We will do better.

The author of the piece, Nico Hines, has remained silent throughout the entire debacle.