Archive for the ‘summer olympics’ Category

The Rio de Janeiro Olympics concluded on Sunday and all the medalists and fantastic performances were overshadowed by one big buffoon.

If you just learned in 2016 that Ryan Lochte is a buffoon, you are four years behind most of us.

But the stellar swimmer overdid himself this time with his silly “over-exaggerating” tale about how he and three other swimmers were held up at gunpoint and robbed.

Over-exaggerating is slang for … lying a lot.

Athletes like the 32-year-old Lochte are used to having officials and public relations’ bobos help get them out of trouble and then spin a story that is nowhere close to the truth.

So it stands to reason that the 12-time medalist felt he could over-exaggerate (um, fib like crazy) and make the Rio de Janeiro police sound like gun-happy militants when the real truth was that he acted like a immature teenager and vandalized a gas station bathroom.

Do you know anyone who has vandalized a gas station bathroom? I know I don’t.

The fact that four U.S. Olympic swimmers think that rates as a fun time is pretty despicable.

In fact, Lochte isn’t the only buffoon in this episode. Let’s get those other names out there too — James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz.

Lochte, Feigen, Conger and Bentz — also known as America’s Four Buffoons.

Keeping alcohol away from this foursome is probably a good thing. Lochte is now claiming that he was still under the influence of alcohol the following day when he was first told his tale to the media. Pretty sure that means he was drunker than Jim Morrison in concert.

Translation: Fill up the Olympic swimming pool with alcohol and Lochte can and will drink it all.

Too bad there isn’t an Olympic drinking competition. Lochte would be a shoo-in for another gold medal.

Lochte did win one gold medal in swimming in these Olympics but his out-of-the-pool exploits and dishonesty overshadowed the stellar performances of some other Americans.

Namely fellow swimmers Michael Phelps (five gold, one silver) and Katie Ledecky (four gold, one silver) as well as gymnast Simone Biles (four gold, one bronze).

The United States won 46 golds overall. Biles became a household name with some stunning performances. Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt once again proved there is nobody in the world who can keep up with him.

But what people will remember more than anything is that Ryan Lochte is a gigantic dummkopf.

Know this: U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun didn’t find anything funny about Lochte’s act. Blackmun says disciplinary action is forthcoming for Lochte and his three partners in drunken buffoonery.

“They let down our athletes,” Blackmun said. “They let down Americans. And they really let down our hosts in Rio who did such a wonderful job, and we feel very badly about that.

“I think we ended up in the right place in terms of being able to shine a light on what really happened there.”

Whatever discipline comes down is more than deserved. And the best thing about this silly caper is that Lochte wrecked his own endorsement value.

Any company that chooses to line up with Lochte is misguided. So I say no chance you will have to see his silly, smug mug on any television commercials.

One thing about the Olympics is that these athletes pretty much disappear for four years. Nobody will pay much attention to athletes like Ledecky or Biles over the next 3 1/2 years but everyone will be back on board when the 2020 Olympics arrive.

Oh yeah, 2020. Lochte, who will then be 36, plans to compete in Tokyo.

At that point, there won’t be anybody learning for the first time that Lochte is a buffoon.

He has cemented that crown and it is forever part of his lore.

I see Lochte is from North Carolina. The state infamous for the misguided bathroom gender law.

He can brag about that his “buffoon crown” the next time he vandalizes a gas station bathroom.

Part of the allure of the Olympics is watching somebody go from being relatively unknown to the talk of the nation in the span of a week or two.

The younger the person happens to be, the more impressed the American public gets over the accomplishments and the poise shown while dealing with the pressures of the Olympic stage.

Certainly, gold medalist Gabby Douglas of the women’s gymnastics team fits the bill, but I have found 17-year-old swimmer Missy Franklin to be the hit of the Olympics thus far.

The senior-to-be at Regis Jesuit High completed her first Olympic foray with four gold medals and a bronze and her youthful exuberance and abundance of class has been fun to see (even if NBC often telecasts it several hours later).

Franklin just happens to be from Aurora, Colo., a town that now rolls off the tip of tongues everywhere after the ridiculous shooting massacre that occurred at a movie theater shortly after midnight on July 20.

James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others who were just out to have a good time watching a movie. His actions cast a dark shadow over the city of Aurora and it seems more than a bit ironic that one of the best feel-good stories of the Olympics happens to be a youngster from the same city.

Franklin has become a symbol of hope for the suburb of Denver and her path to stardom is unconventional. She resisted urges from USA Swimming to ditch her long-time coach and move away from home and hook up with a more-renown swimming coach and program to chase her dreams.

She decided loyalty and staying true to her roots were far more important. And look, she is now being called the future of America swimming (legendary Michael Phelps plans to retire) and about to become the recipient of tremendous endorsement opportunities that will make her an instant millionaire.

But wait – Franklin has yet to give up her amateur status so she is still just a tall 17-year-old with big feet who doesn’t have much money. You see, she would like to compete in college, an option that would require her to pass up all the endorsements that will come her way.

That would mean hoping everything goes right over the next four years and again winning a slew of medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and then cashing in.

I kind of hope Missy Franklin goes for the riches now – the girl deserves it for being a stellar role model in addition to being a fabulous swimmer.

The torch in United States swimming may have well been passed this afternoon and the network that paid billions of dollars to air the 2012 Olympics in London was nowhere to be found.

American Ryan Lochte brutalized the swimming pool and made legendary Michael Phelps look like just another minnow in a pond with a dominating performance to win the gold medal in the 400 individual medley.

Lochte’s terrific showing of 4 minutes, 5.18 seconds wasn’t shown live by NBC despite the event falling on a Saturday afternoon and the showdown between Lochte and Phelps being one of the more anticipated events of the entire Olympics. Instead, NBC was airing swimming preliminaries that were held several hours earlier.

But the beauty of the Internet age is that dinosaur methods by companies behind the times – that’s you, NBC – can always be worked around.

The Lochte-Phelps battle has been one of the few Olympic showdowns talked about for weeks ahead of the Games and not showing one of the epic competitions live on a Saturday afternoon is downright silly.

Links to live telecasts of the event were in abundant supply on social-media sites so I was able to catch the big race as it occurred, not sometime tonight when the skies have turned from light to dark and people in London are sleeping (well, some of them).

Phelps won gold in the 400 IM in each of the past two Olympics and Lochte was the co-favorite this summer, which made NBC’s decision sillier.

Saturday’s 400 IM became the first time Phelps didn’t earn a medal in an Olympics final since he was 15 years old in 2000. Since then, he had gone 16-for-16 with 14 golds and two bronzes before being a nonfactor against Lochte.

Lochte and Phelps were running first and second after the butterfly but Lochte began pulling away with a scintillating backstroke swim. Phelps was in third place midway through the race and he wasn’t done treading water.

As Lochte continued to expand his lead in the breaststroke, Phelps had fallen to fourth place and needed a telescope to spot Lochte as he began his freestyle swim. He didn’t even earn a medal as Thiago Pereira of Brazil finished second and Kosuke Hagino of Japan took third.

Pretty disappointing start to the 2012 Olympics for Phelps, the golden boy of the last two Summer Games.

But it qualifies as even more disappointing for NBC – a network more interested in making money off the Olympics than serving American sports fans.

Not showing a big event live on a Saturday afternoon and pretending it is happening hours later is stuff you would expect in the 1940s. It is even sadder when you factor in we live in an era where results are splashed on Twitter in real time (note to NBC – that means as it happens).

Can you imagine NBC airing an NFL game several hours after it was played? Wait, Shhhh – I don’t want to give them any ideas.

So it’s pretty much a draw on who had the worst Saturday between Phelps and NBC. But I know where I’d put my money in terms of which one might recover before the Olympics end.

It would be on the guy who was just dominated in the pool, not the network that looks like a fool.