Why US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is most entertaining trainwreck ever

By Marnie O’Neill of news.com.au

Ryan Lochte was the butt of jokes long before he made up a story about getting robbed at gunpoint. Photo / AP
Ryan Lochte was the butt of jokes long before he made up a story about getting robbed at gunpoint. Photo / AP

It's anyone's guess how long Ryan Lochte will take to fess up.

The American 12-time Olympic medallist swimmer has been accused of fabricating his story about getting robbed at gunpoint in Rio to cover up a night of debauchery that ended in a brawl at a service station.

Authorities have charged Lochte and teammate James Feigan with making a false report after incriminating CCTV footage of the run-in emerged.

Despite the evidence stacking up against him, the swimmer appears to be sticking to his story.

Will he string out the lie for as long as possible and then do an Oprah confessional like Lance Armstrong? Or will he bite the bullet and come clean, now that Rio authorities have made it clear they're not letting him get away with it?

Most people will be hoping it's the former because, let's face it, this is one highly entertaining trainwreck.

So while we enjoy the show, let's take a closer look at some of the personality quirks that have helped define the 32-year-old as "America's sexiest douchebag".

Lochte tweeted this drawing of a weeping illuminati eye volcano mushroom thing along with the caption: 'My new picture I'm drawing, still in progress but its gonna be sick!!! Jeah!!!' Source / Twitter
Lochte tweeted this drawing of a weeping illuminati eye volcano mushroom thing along with the caption: 'My new picture I'm drawing, still in progress but its gonna be sick!!! Jeah!!!' Source / Twitter

HE FANCIES HIMSELF AS AN ARTIST BUT IS EXTRAORDINARILY BAD AT IT

To make matters worse, his chosen genre is "surrealist nature art". Jezebel once likened his work to something a pothead would draw in a psych ward.

HE TRIED TO TRADEMARK THE BIZARRE EXCLAMATION: 'JEAH!'

This odd utterance pops up a lot in Lochte interviews and on his social media accounts in hashtag form but nobody is really sure whether he made it up himself, as he claims, or stole it from a US rapper.

"It means, like, almost, like, everything," Lochte explained in a 2009 YouTube video.

"Like happy. Like, if you have a good swim, you say, 'Jeah.' Like, it's good. So, I guess ... it means good."

Another attempt to explain the word went like this: "It's spelled J-E-A-H. If you say it like how it's spelled it's 'jee-ah'. But, that's boring; no one wants to hear that. So you have to really put that emphatis [sic] on that 'J'. And then the 'A-H' kinda just flows."

Lochte's attempts to trademark the word for use in merchandising and clothing lines have been thwarted by US rapper MC Eiht, who claimed he coined it way back in 1988.

That hasn't stopped him from plastering the word all over his products, though.

Lochte has plastered his bizarre catchphrase on his merchandise, and this innocent stone. Photo / Twitter
Lochte has plastered his bizarre catchphrase on his merchandise, and this innocent stone. Photo / Twitter

HE HAD HIS OWN REALITY SHOW

Canned after just one season, 2013's What Would Ryan Lochte Do? cemented the swimmer's reputation as a "douchebag" of Olympic proportions and highlighted his Trump-like propensity to refer to himself in the third person.

Things got so bad that it was rare to see a Lochte headline in the US media that didn't also feature the word "douchebag".

"What's being talked about a lot is 'Ryan Lochte the American douchebag'," the swimmer lamented at the time.

"Douchebag? I don't even know what is a douchebag, like what is it? Like what is the definition? ... Like I really don't know what it means, do you know?"

HE OWNS MORE THAN 100 PAIRS OF SHOES

Oddly for a swimmer, Lochte has an Imelda Marcos-like passion for footwear. He owns in excess of 130 pairs of shoes, many of them customised to reflect his greatness.

During an interview with John McEnroe that aired early in NBC's London Olympics coverage, Lochte proudly showed off his favourite pair (pictured below).

He also has a pair of America-themed shoes with wings stitched into the sides but was banned from wearing them in London because they clashed with the team uniform.

Lochte's dream is to eventually become a clothing designer.

"I want to be different, and fashion gives me that outlet to do that," he has said.


HIS DUMB QUOTES ARE A THING

Lochte gives George W Bush a run for his money when it comes to inexplicable and sometimes indecipherable utterances.

Many of these have been immortalised in meme form.

Huh? Photo / Facebook
Huh? Photo / Facebook
You need more coffee, Ryan. Photo / Facebook
You need more coffee, Ryan. Photo / Facebook
Just don't slip on the banana. Photo / Facebook
Just don't slip on the banana. Photo / Facebook

- news.com.au

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