Ryan Lochte Reveals He Considered Suicide After The Fallout From His Rio Olympics Scandal
When discussing the reaction and fallout from the scandal he got caught up in at the Olympics with fellow American swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen, Lochte had this to say…
“People wanted a reason to hate me,” Lochte says about his crimes and misdemeanors. And he gave them one: His initial deceptions, combined with his feeding of racially based perceptions of crime, generated a perfect storm of global righteous indignation, all directed tsunami-style at Lochte.
“Everything was blown out of proportion,” [his fiancée Kayla Rae] Reid says, stabbing at a forkful of lettuce.
Were you completely hammered?
“Oh, we were, yeah,” Lochte says sheepishly. “And that’s why-”
“They were celebrating their victory,” Reid interjects. “At the time, I really had to sew my mouth shut.” She shakes her head, cheeks flushed. “People treated him like he murdered somebody.”
When Lochte arrived home in Charlotte (on what he says was a prescheduled flight), there were a dozen media vans outside his house. He watched the news, read the online comments, the searing articles outlining how “Ryan Lochte Is the Worst!” In days, he lost every sponsor. He also received death threats. At a public appearance, Reid had a glass thrown at her head.
“After Rio, I was probably the most hated person in the world,” Lochte mumbles. “There were a couple of points where I was crying, thinking, ‘If I go to bed and never wake up, fine.'” Asked if that means he considered suicide, Lochte nods slowly. “I was about to hang up my entire life.”
Thankfully Lochte did not follow through on those thoughts as suicide is never the answer for anyone no matter how bad things appear.
Now, however, with a son on the way, he has found new purpose and is looking forward to getting back to competitive swimming.
“Everything happens for a reason,” he offers with moderate conviction. “Look, I was done with swimming back in 2013. I was drained, wiped out. Now I’ve found a new purpose with my son. This fire has been ignited, and it’s bigger than ever, and I’m just so excited because I know what’s going to happen in Tokyo. Everyone is going to have to watch out!”
If Lochte does make it to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 there is one thing he definitely won’t have to worry about and that is everyone watching him.