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Thanks, Ryan Lochte, for stealing the Olympic spotlight from other well-deserving athletes

I am just going to start this article out as frankly as I can — Ryan Lochte sucks.

Over the past couple of days, I have watched the internet turn its attention to Lochte’s embarrassing behavior and (I’m assuming) lies — and it’s been disappointing, to say the least. Coming off a week of inspiring stories about athletes making history and competitors lending helping hands to their fallen rivals in Rio, news outlets became transfixed by the unbelievable, salacious story that Lochte was serving up.

In case you missed it somehow (which would be tough to do), Lochte told NBC News that he and three other U.S. swimmers had been pulled over by guys with police badges and guns, saying “they pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get 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 on 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.”

More: U.S. Olympics men’s swim team: Get to know all the athletes headed to Rio

The story changed a few times after that — leading the Rio de Janeiro court to attempt to seize Lochte and fellow swimmer’s passports. Lochte managed to fly home to the states while the other three are stuck in Brazil. Just this morning, after reports that police has obtained security footage to prove Lochte’s story was an attempt to cover up a brawl with a security guard, Lochte issued an apology, saying trauma from the incident led him to fabricate the events that transpired early Sunday morning.

So, what exactly did happen? According to Reuters‘ security source, two swimmers peed near the back of the gas station and — for whatever reason — broke an advertising sign. All four swimmers argued with the gas station employees and a security guard made them sit on the ground with their hands in the air. Lochte stood up to argue with the security guard, but the guard ordered him to sit again. The next time they were seen they were passing through security at Olympic Village no more than an hour later. The Brazilian police will be holding a press conference later today, so we’ll be sure to get all the ridiculous details then.

And this is pretty much how I feel about all of it:

Michael Phelps meme
Image: AJ Voelpel/Twitter

More: A look at Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps’ heated, ongoing bromance rivalry

But let’s just get to the bottom line, shall we? Lochte and the other swimmers should be ashamed of themselves. Not only are they grown men, they’re representing the United States. Sure, they’re allowed to go out and celebrate their wins, and yes, sometimes intoxication leads to bad judgment, but vandalizing (and by vandalizing, I mean urinating on) someone’s private property and then lying about being mugged at gunpoint to get sympathy from the world? Are you kidding me?! That surpasses any excusable drunken mistake and it’s hard for me to believe Lochte didn’t intentionally describe the events in an untruthful way.

What’s worse is that upstanding, admirable athletes’ accomplishments are now being overlooked because all anyone can talk about is what is and isn’t true regarding Lochte’s drunken night. No apology can make up for that.

More: The most talked-about moments at the Olympic Games Rio 2016

So, let’s all sit down and turn our attention back to what really matters — the athletes who deserve the Olympic spotlight. In case you’ve been so swept up in #LochteGate, here are a couple of amazing moments and headlines you missed these past couple of days:

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal

Image: Stephane Gendre/Twitter

The 21-year-old lost to Spain’s Carolina Marin in the badminton finals, but still became the youngest Indian to ever win an Olympic medal. She became one of the only two athletes to medal for India. The other was wrestler Sakshi Malik, who won bronze on Aug. 18.

Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin became the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal

Image: Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images

Beating Sweden’s Nikita Glasnovic, Zenoorin fell to the floor and kissed the mat, saying “I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal and I hope at the next Olympics we will get gold.”

Russia’s synchronized swimming team won gold for the fifth consecutive year

Russia Synchro olympics
Image: Alexandra Ulmer/Twitter

The Russian’s synchronized swimming team has proven to be unbeatable in recent years. During the RIo finals, they scored two perfect 10s for both execution and artistic impression. Their final score was three points higher than China’s, who won silver their second year in a row.

U.S. women win protest and get Brazil disqualified from 400-meter relay

Image: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

The U.S. relay team was originally disqualified after Allyson Felix dropped the baton during the second heat of the women’s 400-meter relay, but contested the ruling, claiming she had been bumped. The jury ruled in the U.S. women’s favor, disqualified Brazil for obstructing the U.S. and is allowing the U.S. women to rerun the race alone on Thursday night.

U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva won most epic celebration dance on the bars

Guys, I’ve searched the interwebs. I don’t know when this happened or why but I can only assume it happened after Danell Leyva won two silver medals in one day for parallel and horizontal bars. All I have to say is he definitely gets the gold for celebration dance. As a matter of fact, I’d like to see a lot more of him… DWTS anyone?

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Olympic 2016 moments
Image: Slate/Twitter

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