Ryan Lochte Blames His "Immaturity" For Rio "Ruckus"

Photo: Michael Sohn/AP/REX/Shutterstock.
After a week of turmoil, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte took responsibility for the incident at a Rio de Janeiro gas station and apologized for the "immature" behavior that got him and his teammates into trouble.

In an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer, Lochte admitted, "I over-exaggerated that story." He added,"And if I had never done that, we wouldn't be in this mess...none of this would have happened. And it was my immature behavior."

Lochte admitted that he was "embarrassed" by the incident and says that, "I know what I did was wrong."

Rio police have said that Lochte and his teammates vandalized a bathroom after a night of hard partying. Armed guards confronted them and asked them to pay for the damage. That's in sharp contrast to Lochte's original story, in which he claimed he was robbed at gunpoint.

When asked why he maintained his claim of being a "victim," Lochte said, "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."

He added, "All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money."

But Lochte admitted that he understood he was being told that the Americans had to pay for the damages or that the police would be called. Lochte also admitted that he had "definitely had too much to drink that night and I was very intoxicated."

The gas station story has become the new focal point of the 2016 games in Rio — for better or worse. Lochte fabricating the incident was seen by some as especially insulting following media coverage of Rio's crime rate in the run-up to the Olympic games.

For that, Lochte apologized to the people of Rio and Brazil. He said, "The people of Rio or Brazil, the authorities, everyone there put on a great games. And my immature behavior tarnished that a little, and I don't want that."
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