Another Swimmer Apologizes, Gives His Own Account

Gunnar Bentz says Ryan Lochte confronted security guards
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2016 8:19 AM CDT
Updated Aug 20, 2016 8:29 AM CDT
Another Swimmer Apologizes, Gives His Own Account
In this image made from video, American Olympic swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger walk in the departure area after checking into their flight at the airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday.   (AP Photo)

One of the other swimmers caught up in the Ryan Lochte Rio mess has apologized for the controversy, while suggesting that Lochte made things worse during the incident by being hot-headed. “Without question, I am taking away a valuable life lesson from this situation,” wrote Gunnar Bentz, per USA Today. “In everything I do, I am representing my family, my country and my school. I will not take that responsibility lightly.” Bentz provided his version of what happened, and he said video released by Brazilian authorities seems to have been edited to make the Americans look worse than they were. "I am confident that some video angles have not been shown that would further substantiate my account," said Bentz. "I also believe some scenes have been skipped over.”

Based on Bentz's account and other reporting, including in the New York Times, here is the latest, and most definitive explanation of what happened: Bentz, Lochte, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen were in a taxi returning from a party, intoxicated, when they stopped at a gas station. They urinated behind the building, where Lochte pulled a metal advertisement from the wall. Bentz says he saw no one enter the bathroom, let alone trash it, as Brazilian police have said. They returned to their vehicle, but two security guards ordered them out and on the ground. Both guards eventually pulled their guns. "I cannot speak to his actions, but Ryan stood up and began to yell at the guards,” Bentz wrote. “After Jack and I both tugged at him in an attempt to get him to sit back down, Ryan and the security guards had a heated verbal exchange, but no physical contact was made.” A passerby stopped to interpret, and the swimmers paid $50 for the damage before leaving. Lochte presented an altered version, and he has apologized, too. (More Ryan Lochte stories.)

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