American Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has admitted he suffered from suicidal thoughts following 2016’s Olympic scandal.


Last year, Lochte was involved in an Olympic scandal in which he and some fellow Team USA swimmers got drunk and claimed to be held up at gunpoint by fake police. These claims were later debunked when video footage proved that a security guard had held a gun after the swimmers had vandalized a gas station bathroom. He was subsequently suspended from swimming for 10 months and faced jail time for the lie.

While it is reported that the swimmers were asked to give money, the reasoning was to pay for the damages they had made to the gas station. “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 said after-the-fact. “All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction, and we were demanded to give money.”

Reports have come out that the swimmer had suicidal thoughts after the incident as quoted in his interview with Allison Glock of ESPN. “After Rio, I was probably the most hated person in the world,” Lochte said. “There were a couple of points where I was crying, thinking, ‘If I go to bed and never wake up, fine.’ I was about to hang up my entire life.”

Later, however, Lochte clarified his statements to TMZ. “To be clear, yes, I was in a very dark place after Rio, but I never thought about taking my own life,” he said. “That’s the media twisting what I told ESPN. I would never do that. That’s not me. I’m a fighter, always have been, and always will be. I knew that I would do whatever necessary to get through that horrible time, and most importantly to once again earn the trust of my friends, family, and the public, who have always been so supportive of me.”

Now, the swimmer says he is in a great place. He and his fiancee Kayla Rae Reid are expecting a baby this year, and Lochte is training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. “Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “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!”

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