Tag Archives: Ryan Lochte

World is watching … through social media

Magnified illustration with the word Social Media on white background.

A wise man — or woman, perhaps — once said, “You can judge someone’s character by what they do when no one is looking.”

Whoever coined that axiom obviously lived long before the advent of social media.

These days, with virtually everyone over the age of 6 packing cameras in their cell phones, you have zero privacy. You cannot do anything at all without the potential of someone capturing it for posterity — or for gossip purposes.

Gee, do I have anyone in mind as I offer this tidbit? I’m thinking at this moment of Ryan Lochte, the champion U.S. Olympic swimmer and former golden boy of the American Olympic team.

He and some of his swim team pals were video recorded acting up in a Rio de Janeiro gas station. They reported that someone robbed them; it turned out they, at the very least, “embellished” their version of what happened.

A security camera recorded their shenanigans. Those eagle eyes, too, are part of the modern world that makes it virtually impossible to keep the inquisitive among us from staying current with what we do. It’s especially true if you’re a sports superstar, a politician, an actor or a reality TV star.

Do you remember when former Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner decided to take photos of his manhood and distribute them via social media to women who are not his wife? Did that numbskull ever consider that someone, somewhere, somehow would obtain pictures of Danger and send them out for the rest of the world to see?

How about the cops who beat the daylights out of motorists, only to have their misconduct recorded by passersby? Or the cop who shot the man to death in the back — as he was running away? That, too, was recorded by an onlooker.

The examples are literally endless.

This is the price¬†any¬†of us¬†must realize¬†we pay when¬†we decide to act up — or act out — in public. It’s especially true if you’re a celebrity.

I don’t know about you, but I long ago vowed to be on my best behavior all the time whenever I venture outdoors. The world is watching … even little ol’ me.

Rio Olympics coming to a … fascinating end


This blog post has been updated.

I’ll admit a few things here about the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and acknowledge a surprise or two.

*¬†I didn’t like the opening ceremony. Yes, it was colorful to the max, but I didn’t understand much of its significance. My Olympic opening ceremony gold standard was set in 1996 in Atlanta, when the organizers surprised the world as Muhammad Ali — the Greatest — stepped out of the shadows to light the cauldron. I cried like a baby sitting in front of my TV watching The Champ light the flame, as did all the spectators in the stadium that night.

What’s more,¬†there was something oddly out of place when the Brazilians decided to inject the politics of climate change and global warming into the ceremony. While I generally agree that climate change is a profound international problem, was the Olympic opening ceremony the appropriate place to make that statement?

*¬†I hadn’t planned on watching much of the competition, but then I did watch. A lot of it.

*¬†Michael Phelps made me proud. The zillion-time gold medal winning swimmer came back for his fifth Olympics and at the age of 31 managed to dominate the men’s swimming competition. He overcame some serious personal demons to get himself into the best shape of his life and he didn’t disappoint. Five golds and a silver? Not bad … for an “old man.”

* Katie Ledecky was the actual star of the pool, though. The young American not only was winning her races, she was winning them by a lot.

* Simone Manuel was another swimming star who made me proud. The young Texan came out of nowhere to capture our hearts, particularly as she wept while listening to the National Anthem during the awards ceremony.

*¬†The U.S. women’s gymnastics team. What more can I say about those youngsters? Holy moly, man!

* Gabby Douglas, one of the gymnasts, had nothing for which to apologize for not putting her hand over heart during the anthem. She stood there respectfully and showed class by riveting her eyes on the flag as it rose.

*¬†Usain Bolt is the fastest human being in the world. The Jamaican sprinter served notice that it’s not how well you start a race that matters, it’s how you finish it. As ol’ Dizzy Dean used to say while calling a baseball game on TV, “That fella can pick ’em up and lay ‘e down.”

* Oh, and one more takeaway. The swimmer Ryan Lochte, who is 32 years of age, is about to lose a fortune in endorsement income because he messed up so royally by partying with his swim-team buddies and then making up the story about being robbed at a Rio gasoline service station. Good grief, dude! Get out of my face!

I don’t know how the International Olympic Committee chairman¬†is going to characterize the Rio Games when he closes the event down Sunday night. Will it be “outstanding,” or “exceptional,” or simply some other less-glorious adjective? Observers often rate the success of an Olympics by the way the IOC boss hails the¬†event at its¬†conclusion.

I’ll rate¬†the Games¬†“outstanding.”

It was a fun ride in Rio.

Lochte set to soil a sparkling record

US swimmer Ryan Lochte holds a press conference on August 3, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, two days ahead of the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP / Martin BUREAU        (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Ryan Lochte must not have been content¬†to just be known as one of the world’s greatest swimmers of his era.

Oh, no. He allegedly sought to add something like this to an obituary that will be written about him … eventually:

“Ryan Lochte, a multiple gold-medal-winning Olympic swimmer, who got caught up in a controversy after competing in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro … “

That’s how it will be written, or in words to that effect.

Lochte and three of his swimming teammates reported to police that they were robbed at gunpoint. It appears to have been a bogus story.

Now the once-glorious American athlete has been indicted by Brazilian authorities for filing a false police report and faces possible extradition back to Brazil to face the consequences of his actions.

The new story that’s developing suggests that the swimmers were returning from an all-night bender in Rio, stopped in a gas station to relieve themselves and started trashing the place.

Now that one of his reputations — his athletic skill — has been all but obliterated, another one is getting traction: he’s an overgrown frat boy. He’s been known to have acted badly in public before.

One Brazilian Olympic official reportedly sought to excuse the swimmers’ behavior by saying “that’s what boys do.”

Boys? Lochte is a 32-year-old allegedly grown man.

This story is beginning to sicken me.

Lochte: from champ to chump?

Jan 16, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Ryan Lochte before competing in the men's 400 meter IM final during the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series at Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Say it ain’t so, Ryan Lochte.

The U.S. Olympic swimmer — a multiple gold-medal winner over several Olympics — appears to have been caught perpetrating a scam on the Brazilian police officials.

He and three American swimming teammates have been accused of fabricating a story in which they contended they were robbed at gunpoint.

The Rio de Janeiro cops bought the story initially. Then they had second thoughts. The Brazilians nabbed two of Lochte’s chums at their airport. Meanwhile, Lochte — the biggest name by far caught up in this matter — had made his escape back to the United States.

The allegation now is that video apparently shows the U.S. swimmers vandalizing the restroom of the business where they had said they were robbed. The robbery story, meanwhile, never added up to the cops’ satisfaction.

Lochte’s previous renown had come by virtue of his competing for the United States in swimming pools around the world. He and a guy named Michael Phelps — perhaps you’ve heard of him — had become great rivals and friends over many years.

Lochte was one of the best swimmers in the world. He still is, actually.

What might he be known for now? What could be his lasting legacy?

It appears it’s going to be this made-up robbery and the bizarre circumstances that are still developing.

Brazilian authorities are pursuing extradition proceedings to bring Lochte back to face justice.

Man, this makes me sad.