By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard
While the media (social and otherwise) chimes in and/or freaks out about Ryan Lochte and the swimming funky bunch and their robbery/non robbery/guns drawn/payoff story, it’s important to remember that the average age of the Olympians is 26 years old. That doesn’t excuse moronic behavior by any means but it should, in some small way, give people pause before putting these athletes on pedestals that they can’t in anyway balance on.
Breaking news: drunk Americans do dumb things while abroad.
The Lochte story isn’t new. Back at the Seoul games in 1988, two US Swimmers were arrested for stealing a marble lion head from a hotel. Of course we are all aware of Michael Phelps transgressions outside of the games but somehow NBC spun that into story of redemption. The fact is that things like this are going to happen even thought they shouldn’t. And guess what? They are going to happen again.
Why do they happen? Well you put a bunch of youngsters in high pressure situations that they have been training for for years, put them on a pedestal and then it’s done. The moment has passed. The people at NBC have stopped calling you. Yeah, these folks are going to blow off steam and there is a helluva lot of it. Does it excuse their behavior? No. But it’s not like they are the first ones to do something stupid while overseas.
Along the same lines, it’s also why they are handing out bags of condoms to athletes and tinder usage is through the roof.
In Lochte’s case, he should know better. He is 32 years old and unless you are a member of congress, you shouldn’t be acting like this.
NBC made these athletes role models to sell ad’s. Money which non of these athletes see. Not many of them asked to be on this pedestal to begin with. So everyone, take a breath along with a step back and relax.