5 Things to Know About James Feigen: Ryan Lochte's Teammate at the Center of Rio Robbing Scandal

Swimmer is a two-time Olympic medalist

By McKenna Aiello Aug 17, 2016 6:47 PMTags
James Feigen REUTERS/Albert Gea

Olympic swimmer James Feigen has been thrust into the spotlight for reasons that aren't necessarily related to his expertise in the pool. 

The Team USA athlete was one of Ryan Lochte's three teammates that claim they were robbed at gunpoint last weekend during the 2016 Rio Olympics, an incident that has been met with speculation from local authorities. On Wednesday morning, a Brazilian judge ordered seizure of Feigen and Lochte's passport due to inconsistencies in the swimmers' testimonies about the amount of robbers involved in the alleged stickup. Additionally, officials have been unable to locate any evidence that supports the athlete's claims. 

While Lochte's lawyer told E! News the 12-time Olympic medalist had already returned to the United States prior to Brazilian officials' seizure attempt, the U.S. Olympic Committee will not confirm Feigen's current location over security protocol. 

Here are five things you need to know about Feigen: 

Judge Orders Seizure of Ryan Lochte's and James Feigen's Passports Amid Robbery Probe

1. He's an Olympic Veteran: The 26-year-old made his Summer Games debut at the 2012 London Games, where he earned a silver medal during the 4x100m freestyle relay. Fast forward four years, and James earned his first gold medal during the same event, competing for the U.S. in the preliminary heats. Prior to reaching the pinnacle of success for Olympic-hopeful swimmers, Feigen held the high school national record in the 100 and 50y freestyle and later attended the University of Texas at Austin. 

2. He's a Mentor to Aspiring Swimmers: Feigen is the co-founder of Project Streamline, an initiative launched to train and mentor young athletes hoping to make a splash in the swim community. James and fellow all-star athletes like Lochte host training clinics around the nation. According to the organization's website, Feigen will host his next event on September 17 alongside Conor Dwyer in Southern California.

Olympic Romances

3. He's Slammed Misconceptions About the Olympic Village: In a recent Reddit AMA, Feigen spoke out about Olympic stereotypes, including the athletes' sex lives and their Olympic Village living conditions. "No, Unfortunately those experiences are blown out of proportion," Feigen wrote. "Access to condoms is easy and many athletes take them, but I'm not sure of how many actually get used. People mostly focus on their events rather than getting laid. Once the games are over the party begins! That is outside the village, though."

As for his Rio digs, where he roomed with Lochte (who he considers a "best friend") and Michael Phelps, Jimmy said, "My living conditions, although small, seem to be pretty good. From the other athletes from different countries I talk to they seem to be fine as well. There were some kinks to get through at the beginning but by and large the village has been extremely livable."

4. He Says There's Pros and Cons to Knowing Michael Phelps: When asked by a Reddit user about the pitfalls of being aligned with the most decorated Olympian of all time, Feigen replied, "Hah it comes with the territory. I like answering questions of which I have knowledge. But I sure do get a lot of. DO YOU KNOW MICHAEL PHELPS?? Like yes dude that's what happens when your on the same Olympic team (sic)" He also added, "Phelps is like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. When he talks we listen. What he says goes. He's a leader with some valuable input and knows better than most of us do. Integral part of Team USA." 

5. The 2020 Tokyo Games Are Not in His Future: During the aforementioned AMA, Feigen revealed, "I will not be in Tokyo competing." Instead, Feigen said he hopes to attend law school in Texas one day. 

Best Reaction Faces at the 2016 Rio Olympics