We now know that Ryan Lochte ended his time at the Olympics by behaving very badly and then lying about it. Whether he meant any harm or not, he created an international incident that made the Olympic Host City, Rio, look bad and Lochte and his friends look even worse.
Lochte’s swimming accomplishments gave him celebrity status, which for athletes can be temporary. Had his happened any other time, it might not even have made the news. But right after the U.S. team’s big wins, all eyes were on him. Actors need to assume the same thing when they are with friends or out in public. If you are known, people will be watching.
Parents can teach their children from early ages that their are always consequences for their choices. Some are good, and others result in the kind of unwanted attention this incident received. Teenagers and young adults face temptations all the time, but for most, if they make a bad decision, as long as it’s not dangerous or life threatening, there is usually an opportunity to learn from it and move on. Celebrities don’t have that luxury, no matter what age they are. Lochte was not a child. At age 32, he should have known better. The fallout from this will very likely be loss of all endorsements and all future earnings from his time as an Olympiad. We have seen actors make mistakes and recover. Sometimes that happens, but the best solution is to make a choice not to make bad decisions that affect one’s life and others.