The most dramatic story out of this summer’s Olympic Games so far has nothing to do with Usain Bolt, the US women’s gymnastics team, or the 400-meter hurdles.
It has everything to do with a green-haired former reality TV star who also happens to be one of the world’s best swimmers.
The drama started earlier this week, when US gold medalist Ryan Lochte went public with a story that he and three other US swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in Brazil while returning from a late night out.
In the days since, however, that story has been called into question, with the latest developments suggesting that the whole story might have been fabricated. Two of the swimmers allegedly involved in the incident are being questioned by law enforcement in an effort to sort out the mess. Lochte, meanwhile, is reportedly back in the US.
It’s impossible to know how the scrutiny might be affecting Lochte — though, as the not-so-well-spoken University of Florida alum was once quoted as saying: “What I was always good at was letting things go through, like, through one ear, out the other, so to say.”
But with this odd story unfolding, it seems as good a time as any for a quick refresher on the quirky 32-year-old Olympic swimmer.
1. He once planned to have all of his family members’ birth dates tattooed on his torso, according to a 2012 Men’s Journal profile.
2. His mom once talked about his sex life in a very public way. “He goes out on one-night stands,” she told Today.com in 2012. “He’s not able to give fully to a relationship because he’s always on the go.” (Lochte later explained that what his mother meant to say was that he doesn’t have time for a serious relationship.)
3. This photo:
4. The following exchange:
Interviewer: “[What’s] 7x4?”
5. He once campaigned to star in ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
6. He’s a Tinder all-star — although, in his defense, he seems to value a strong work ethic in a potential hook-up.
“I’ve been matching up with a bunch of gorgeous women who are smart, they have professional jobs and everything,” he told Cosmopolitan magazine earlier this year. “I’m like, ‘Wow, this is perfect.’ ”
7. Actually, hold that thought. He might not like accountants.
Asked in the same Cosmo interview about his worst date ever, he replied, “We went out to dinner and she was a dud, she wasn’t funny, didn’t talk. If I asked her, ‘So what do you do,’ she was like, ‘I’m an accountant’ — that’s it. Just boring.”
8. He does not appear to be particularly risk-averse. In the Men’s Journal profile, Lochte explained that he’d recently reached 175 miles an hour on the highway — just to, you know, see what it was like.
“I just wanted to see what it felt like to go that fast,” Lochte told the magazine. “When I slowed down, I thought I was going, like, 70 or 50, but I was still going 130.”
9. He named one of his dogs after Lil’ Wayne, the other after Kanye West.
10. After bleaching his hair in anticipation of this year’s Olympics, his hair turned light green because Lochte (apparently) failed to realize that chlorine has that effect on bleached hair.
11. He once had his own reality TV show on E! called “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” where he said things like, “Something will pop up in my head — it could be like the weirdest thing. Like all of a sudden, like, I have like a jumping banana in my head. And I stop and pause. I’m like, that damn jumping banana is in my head. Like, I don’t know what’s going on.”Dugan Arnett can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @duganarnett.