Thursday, August 18, 2016

Swimmers Behaving Badly

Okay, let me see if I have this fast-changing story straight . . .
Ryan Lochte and three other swimmers - Jimmy Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz - were riding in a taxi and were allegedly robbed at gunpoint by thieves pretending to be police officers, forcing them out of the car and demanding their wallets.  Lochte said he dared one of them to use his gun and then got down on the ground.
Then Lochte changed details in his story while his teammates said that he never pulled a Dirty Harry-type moment, and he doubled down on his insistence that they were robbed . . . when in fact they were stopping at a service station after having gotten drunk and vandalized a bathroom.  The fake police officer was actually a real security officer who gave them a hard time because they were . . . giving him a hard time. 
Then ol' Ryan bailed on his teammates and went home, leaving Feigen, Conger and Bentz to take the rap and tell authorities . . . the truth. Which was caught on a security camera.
I think the dye in Lochte's hair seeped into his brain.
Lochte's behavior - inexcusable for a man of his age and position - is going to go down as one of the most brazen display of immaturity by an American swimmer that I can remember.
Which brings me back to the subject of Janet Evans.  I sort of remember, twenty years ago in Atlanta, that Evans was dismissed for her immaturity.  She was ridiculed for what she did after she was eliminated from the final in he 400-meter freestyle by a fraction of a second.  She . . . cried.
What?  You mean an athlete on the verge of becoming the first American woman to win a fifth individual Olympic gold medal in swimming got unexpectedly eliminated from the final of the only one of two races she was competing in at Atlanta in which she was a favorite - and she actually got upset because she was eliminated by a microscopic margin?  After all the training she went through to make history, she was, upon failing to do so, actually . . .  tearful?  Oh, I'm shocked! 
And when that bomb in Centennial Olympic Park went off before her eyes, she was reportedly criticized for her reaction.  She . . . cursed.  No kidding!  Like, what was she supposed to do, say something like, "It is terribly unfortunate that a bomb went off and could have killed me if it had been any closer?" 
Evans wasn't being immature, she was being human.  Michael Phelps, incidentally, may have been immature when  he drank and did drugs, but he showed his humanity when he came clean and got clean.  Lochte was not only being immature, he was being . . . dumb.     

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