Regrets, he’s had a few. Ryan Lochte apologized to the people of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for his “immature, intoxicated behavior,” during a new interview following his headline-making gas station scandal. Watch the video above to see what he said.
The 32-year-old Olympic swimmer’s full interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer — which was filmed in New York City on Saturday, August 20, and was first teased online over the weekend — aired on the Today show on Monday, August 22.
“[The people of Rio] put on a great Games,” Lochte told Lauer. “They did everything. And my immature, intoxicated behavior tarnished that a little.”
As previously reported, the 12-time Olympic medalist and his three fellow Team USA swimmers (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen) vandalized a Rio gas station bathroom after a night of partying and were asked by security guards to pay for the damage. In Lochte’s initial account, he stated that he and his pals were robbed at gunpoint, but authorities later reviewed surveillance footage and announced that there wasn’t any evidence of a robbery.
When Lochte was asked during this week’s NBC interview if he vandalized the bathroom alone, he revealed he couldn’t remember because he wasn’t in the right state of mind at the time.
“I have no idea. I mean, I was very intoxicated,” the athlete explained. “It was immature. It was childish. I take full responsibility for everything.”
When Lochte first spoke to Lauer on the phone last week, the Today show host told viewers the competitive swimmer initially blamed the “mean streets of Rio” rather than his “dumb behavior.”
“That’s why I’m taking full responsibility for it,” Lochte said of his false robbery story. “It was my immature behavior.”
Shortly after his Today show interview aired on Monday morning, Speedo USA announced its decision to terminate its sponsorship of Lochte. The company plans to donate $50,000 to Save the Children, a charity for children in Brazil.
“Speedo USA today announces the decision to end its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte,” Speedo USA said in a statement on Twitter. “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.”
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