Ryan Lochte scandal: Americans write messages of apology at Rio International Aiport

A white board was set up for those who wanted to leave their thoughts before leaving the city

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Monday 22 August 2016 21:29
Lots of people leaving Rio have been expressing regret
Lots of people leaving Rio have been expressing regret

It is never easy to apologise.

But for large number of Americans, embarrassed and ashamed by the actions of some of their swimmers, it seems that sorry is the most suitable word.

As the 2016 Olympics came to a climatic finale, the authorities erected white boards at Rio International Airport and left marker pens for people to share their thoughts and memories.

Ryan Lochte told US media that he and three teammates were the victims of an armed robbery

Yet reports suggest that for a number of visitors, the message they most wanted to share was one of regret and apology for actions Ryan Lochte and three other swimmers accused by police of fabricating a report that they had been robbed by armed officers.

Police said last week, that Lochte and three other swimmers - Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen – had lied after vandalising a bathroom at a fuel station.

The four left Brazil in disgrace after they admitted their claim had been false. The swimmers were able to do so after agreeing to make a payment.

Ryan Lochte CCTV released

Mr Lochte and the others have since issued apologies. Yet, the 32-year-old is already suffering a backlash, with his sponsors, Speedo and Ralph Lauren, among the brands to declare they were cutting their ties with him.

USA Today said that the wall at the airport was full of messages, but that a lot of them appeared to be apologies about the swimmers.

“Sorry about Ryan,” wrote one. “Sorry about Lochte,” said another.

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