After nearly a week of unscrambling versions of stories, Ryan Lochte is putting the pieces of his Rio robbery scandal back together in the public eye.
While sitting down with Matt Lauer for his first televised interview since news broke of his exaggerated story, the 32-year-old swimmer is clarifying new portions of his tale, including his speculated behavior on the night in question.
Although police officials said Lochte appeared angry and belligerent toward the security guards at the Shell gas station, the athlete begs to differ.
"That's not me...getting mad and angry and wanting to fight or anything like that," he replied. "I was upset that we got pulled out of the taxi...there was no reason for a gun to be pulled out for us for doing nothing."
However, he does acknowledge there had been a pointed when the conversation got "heated."
"I think when I got up and I started [saying] like...this is BS. We shouldn't be treated like this. There's no way we want to go back in the car. We want to go back. That's when it got heated," Lochte explained. "The guy probably [drew] his gun from that."
The controversy ignited after Lochte spoke with NBC's Billy Bush, claiming the athletes' taxi had been pulled over on the side of the road and robbed with a gun cocked to his head by a man with a fake police badge. In a subsequent interview with Lauer, he said they had actually been at a gas station when the robbery occurred. The discrepancies in the stories and their differing testimonies to Brazilian police called the entire event as it had been described into question.
"That's why I'm taking full responsibility for it because I over-exaggerated that story and if I [had] never done that, we wouldn't be in this mess," he shared.
"The people of Rio...the authorities—they put on a great games," he continued. "My immature intoxicated behavior tarnished that a little."
While he was the only one of the four swimmers to return home before their passports had been seized by a judge in Brazil, Lochte acknowledged that although his teammates Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz had not caused any damage, they still had been removed from their flight home.
"I let my team down and 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, so I just wanted to make sure they were home safe before I came out and talked," he explained, referencing his public apology on Friday.
"I'm embarrassed for myself, my family—especially those guys," he said tearfully. "I was immature and I made a stupid mistake. I'm human. I made a mistake and I definitely learned from this."
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