Phelps & Lochte are the Jeter & A-Rod of Swimming

Jeter and A-Rod had a relationship that was hard to define. Once best friends (until A-Rod stabbed Jeter in the back in an interview) turned enemies, turned teammates. What made the A-Rod/Jeter relationship so fascinating was that A-Rod was the supremely gifted and talented player and yet, wanted to be like Jeter. Jeter on the other hand, was the humble and talented team captain who had the adoration of fans across the country; whereas A-Rod got booed everywhere, especially in New York. Rodriguez went out of his way to try and be as famous as his one-time best friend and in the end it might have succeeded, but for all the wrong reasons.
Jeter will be remembered as a 5-time World Series Champion and Captain for the most famous sports team in the world. A-Rod will be remembered as an arrogant cheat who was arguably the most talented baseball player of all-time but who could never get over his desire to be beloved and even revered.

That little anecdote leads right into the relationship [of sorts] between Phelps and Lochte. Unlike Jeter/A-Rod, these two were never friends; however, one has always been in the shadow of the other, desperately trying to break away and be the true star of competitive swimming.

Phelps is arguably the greatest Olympian of all-time. What is inarguable is that he’s the greatest swimmer of all-time. Lochte is the 2nd greatest swimmer of all-time and has tried to do everything in his power to overshadow the accomplishments of Phelps. From failed reality shows to smack talk, Lochte has been desperately trying to attain the [social] media dominance of his Olympic counterpart. Phelps gets camera time everywhere he goes whether he seeks it or not. Lochte has been trying [and failing] to be the A-list star that Phelps has been since middle school.

Here’s where similarities really come into play. Like Jeter, Phelps has no interest in being in the public eye; and it wasn’t until this Olympics in Rio that he (Phelps) finally looked comfortable in front of the camera. On the flip side, Lochte [channeling his inner A-Rod], dyed his hair silver (Irony?) as a way to stand out from everyone else.

To continue the debauchery that is Lochte and his quest for fame; he manufactured a story in which he and three other swimmers were robbed and held by gunpoint at a Rio gas station. Here’s what he claims happened; 

Lochte said, “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 cellphone, he left my credentials.” (Associated Press)

If you read his story closely, you’ll see that HE was the only one brave enough to stand up to the gunmen while his friends just obeyed their (the gunmen’s) orders. This man is so desperate for fame that he fabricates a story and in the process of telling his piece of fiction, ends up throwing his friends under the bus and making them sound like cowards. 

It’s gotten to the point where he could be considered a sociopath with this type of behavior. Not only did he embarrass his own country, but he hung his friends out to dry while boarding a plane back to said country to try and avoid any type of prosecution.

As of this morning, Lochte has issued an apology (if you want to call it that) stating, “I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning,” (Associated Press) He still has yet to give a truthful account of what really transpired that morning.

Like A-Rod, Lochte is a disingenuous, calculating wannabe, who’s become the product of his own demise. A 12-time Olympic medal winner will never be remembered as an accomplished swimmer, but will forever be synonymous with the embarrassing depravity that he put on display in front of the world during the Summer Olympics of 2016; and [just as in the case of A-Rod] I don’t feel the least bit sorry for him.