Balls Out: Ryan Lochte Broke Something, Again?

I am not an avid swimming fan, nor am I an accurate judge of character when it comes to people that I haven’t got a chance to speak with. I have not spoken with Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte in my life and probably won’t. And that’s ok. But, from my fairly uninformed and completely editorial view; out of the two, I am NOT a fan of Ryan Lochte. Although Phelps had the whole marijuana scandal, I fail to see how our city can critique his character as a result of that incident, as it is nearly impossible to roam the streets without catching a whiff of someone’s participation in the same activity. When it comes to innate personality, Phelps has my vote.

Via Ryan Lochte on Facebook
Via Ryan Lochte on Facebook

Bro photo of Ryan Lochte. Ugh.

My distaste for Lochte was perpetuated earlier in the month when he tore his MCL and ACL, attempting to catch a young teenage girl who was running at him on Nov 5. Let me emphasize that an ACL tear is roughly an eight month recovery process that this Olympian has suffered. Trying to catch a girl. Dodging her could have been a potential solution too–the guy is clearly quick. Instead, he caught her, fell on the pavement and put his career on hiatus for some time—although he is expected to make a full recovery. Don’t get me wrong, Lochte has my deepest sympathies with respect to the time he must take off due to the event–for committed athletes, taking time massive chunks of time off is a complete nightmare. I simply disagree with his competition attitude and his teeth adorned with the grill of an American flag by way of what looks like the job of a Bedazzle apparatus.

I realize that a significant amount of time has transpired since Lochte’s incident. However, the event occurred on a Tuesday—the day after my column went live for that week—and I instantly regretted the previous day’s post. Regardless, I did some research on Lochte after the poor guy ended the next year of his elite training, and discovered some other injury-related information worth sharing on the two-time Olympian medalist, that renders less sympathy in my book.

Lochte has torn other ligaments in his knee twice in the course of his life. The first I’ll allow as legitimate, Lochte was breakdancing and tore his meniscus in 2009. However, two years later, Lochte merely reached for his cell phone in the back seat of his car and that was it—torn MCL. In 2007 prior to worlds, Lochte fractured his foot. In 2008, Lochte FELL OUT OF A TREE playing hide-and-go-seek with his baby brother and broke his shoulder. Finally in the last six years, Lochte has sustained groin pulls and collar bone fractures due to similar accidents.

In an interview with ESPN in 2010, the interviewer actually chuckled at one of Lochte’s misfortunes and quickly apologized–appropriately so in my opinion–as one might think such devastating injuries would be psychologically upsetting to a world class athlete.

Apparently not the case with Lochte, who responded with quite the opposite tone of anger, “Actually it’s hilarious because I’m not supposed to be doing those things. But I’ve got to be able to do those kinds of things no matter the consequences are.”

I frequently lodge myself in trees precariously enough that I might fall off and fracture my bones too because I have to, for the integrity of the game hide-and-go-seek, no matter the consequence…

His own brother quotes Lochte claiming, “I need to go break a body part or something–I need to get injured.’”

This is where my sympathy ceases for Lochte. I hope he enjoys his recovery process, I’m sure it will be as thrilling as the podium.