During an interview on NBC with Matt Lauer, the 32-year-old Olympics swimmer spoke about the late-night incident involving him and three teammates at a Rio de Janiero gas station last weekend and how he “over-exaggerated” the story.
According to Gunnar and Brazilian officials, the U.S. swimmers got rowdy and vandalized a gas station. Interpreters for the swimmers pleaded with the gas station employees not to call the police on them, and a gun was drawn, and the swimmers had to pay for the damage they caused.
Ryan explained his situation by saying, “whether you call it a robbery or extortion or us paying just for the damages. All we know was there was a gun pointed in our direction and were demanded to give money.”
“We just wanted to get out of there,” Ryan continued. “There was a gun pointed in our direction. We were all frightened, and we wanted to get out of there as quick as possible. The only way we knew was this guy saying you have to give them money, so we gave them money and we got out.”
When he was interviewed about the situation the following day, Ryan claims he was “still intoxicated” from the night before because he “definitely had way too much to drink.”
Later on in the interview, Ryan fought back tears as he described how he felt being back in the U.S. while his teammates were detained in Brazil for further interrogations.
“I let my team down,” Ryan said. “I wanted to be there. Like, I don’t want them to think that I left and left them dry, because they were my teammates. I wanted to definitely be there, and I wanted to help out any way I could.”
“I was immature, and I made a stupid mistake,” Ryan said. “I’m human. I’ll definitely learn from this. I’m just really sorry.”
The second part of Matt Lauer‘s interview with Ryan Lochte will air Monday morning on NBC.
Ryan Lochte – Matt Lauer Interview