And If...We Did Not Save Ryan?
13 August 2016 / Dr. Engin Baran
We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over … They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn't do anything wrong, so — I'm not getting down on the ground. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, 'Get down,' and I put my hands up, I was like 'whatever.' He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.
This is how, 12 times gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte narrated the most spoken about story of the Rio Olympiads to the NBC...
Actually the story was picture perfect. These things frequently happened in Brazil. The spectators hearts went out to the hero of the story, Ryan and his friends. Other athletes in the Olympic camp have been warned against these hazards and Rio’s sullied image was again underlined.
But it did not end here. Brazilian authorities made further inquiries. The video images of Lochte and friends merrily entering the camp thru the security entrance came out. Lochte was already back in the U.S, but the Brazilian Judge sequestered the passports of the remaining two swimmers and questioned them. In the end, it all came out. The swimmers had had a night out after the competitions, and in their possibly intoxicated state had caused some damages in the toilet area of the petrol station. The rumour was that they had actually broken a door.
Understandably, the manager of the station had called the police. After further inquiries, it became clear, that there was no hold up, nobody was held at gunpoint, nobody’s money was forcibly taken. The swimmers were only made to pay for the damages to the station. Five days after the event which had taken place on a Sunday, Lochte confessed the whole truth.
At first sight the Olympics may be seen as a big sporting event. But real Olympic spirit goes above and beyond that, as it is founded on the balance of physical perfection and ethical virtues.
This is the very reason why the silver medalist of the disc throwing contest Piotr Malachowski becomes the real torchbearer of the Olympic spirit when he takes the decision of auctioning his medal to help the funding of the eye surgery of a 3 years old boy.
There are, however, a great many who can or will not realize the meaning of this precious balance, who break the rules, bribe their competitors, cheat or lie from the start of the ancient Olympics to the modern day.
We even possess a detailed list from those days about these first cheaters. As it happens, in the Ancient Town of Olympia, the main road going to the stadium is adorned with Zeus statues that are all financed by the fınes paid by these. Athletes who feel sadly short of embodying? These virtues… Each and every of them have their names written on the stone of the particular statue that was made with their own money. The first 6 statues, for example were paid for by the boxer Eupolos from Thessaly? Who was caught in the act of bribing his rivals. Quite a walk of shame, actually!...
Even this last Ryan Lochte event is not quite an almost original as one would think. 1923 years before his time, and in August, a runner who was late for competition pretended to be late because of unfavorable weather conditions. Only he was caught in the lie when another athlete from the same city testified to have seen him having a good time gambling away his money in lonia during the time he was supposed to be on the road… He consequently was found guilty and was fined.
So, if in our time we are to keep high the ethical values that were the essential component of the ancient Olympic games, we must question the sportsmanship and the medals of Ryan Lochte.
This bring us to the original question: And what if we did not save Ryan?