3 Low Points of the 2016 Rio Olympics

Not every story that came out of the 2016 Olympic games in Rio was defined by heroism. Some people were just downright rude.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #400

Today is a very special edition of Modern Manners Guy. Why? Because this episode marks the 400th episode of my Modern Manners Guy column and podcast and it’s because of you that I’ve been able to have such a dream job. Your emails, Facebook messages, tweets, time, support, and loyalty are all what makes this opportunity so special. A big, huge, monstrous thanks to everyone at QDT for allowing me a platform to share my opinions with the world.

Now, even though reaching this milestone is rather emotional, don’t think I’m going to use this episode to get all mushy.  After all, we have business to discuss at Mannerly Nation, and today we’re going to hit on some of the lowlights of the Rio Olympics, pointing out some valuable lessons from unmannerly athletes. Yes, the Olympics provides us with heroes but it also allows us to see how insanely rude some of the “World’s finest” are when their emotions get the best of them. So, let’s ring in #400 with a look at the three lowpoints of the 2016 Olympics:

Example #1: The Ryan Lochte Effect

One pf the most talked about low points of the 2016 Olympics was when 12-time Olympic medalist and all around “bro” Ryan Lochte went on national TV and lied about a wild night out with his teammates. After fabricating a story about being robbed by people dressed as cops, video proof showed him and his crew damaging property and having to pay for it. Not robbed, not hurt, just them being jerks. What Lochte did was not only wrong but he opened a door to how superstar athletes feel it’s their right to do whatever they want without any consequences. Well, jokes on them because it turns out that the global backlash against the “King Dude” and mounting pressure have cost him millions of dollars in sponsorships. Lochte’s screw up has tainted his Olympic image forever. For as long as he competes he will be linked to what he did in Rio. When he races in the next Olympics, the announcers will bring it up, the papers will ask him about it and I doubt fans will let this slide either. So, even though Lochte is a winner in the pool, it’s clear he doesn’t always get the gold when it comes to manners. And there’s a lesson in that, folks.

I don’t want to waste my entitlement rant on Lochte, but rather use him as the symbol of what it means to use influence to lie. Lochte  will say it is all a misunderstanding, but it’s not. In fact, people like newsman Al Roker aren’t letting him escape it either. Recently, Roker’s colleague Billy Bush said, “He [Lochte] certainly lied about some details…” Roker cut Bush off to set the record straight, saying Lochte lied about everything. Not distortion, not exaggeration, just lies. I always knew I loved Al Roker. Here, Lochte is being put on blast and it's proof that just because you’re the superstar doesn’t mean you get to play by another set of rules. Now sure, Lochte will brush this under the rug as a “misunderstanding," but we as fans of the Olympics will not let him escape karma. And man do I love karma.

Example #2: Losing With Grace … Sorry, I mean Disgrace

In last week’s episode of Modern Manners Guy, Don’t Be a Sore Loser: How To Handle Defeat, I discussed how to gracefully accept the pitfalls of losing. Be it personal or professional, losing is a tough part of growing up. However, with every defeat, you have to move on, evolve, and not allow your ego to get the best of you. Yet not everyone has quite learned that lesson. Case in point: two Mongolian wrestling coaches during a bronze medal match between Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Long story short, while up one point with seconds to go, Mongolian wrestler, Ganzorigiin was charged with a penalty for “celebrating his victory early” (not exactly a proper way either), and thus his opponent, Navruzov, won the match on a technicality. So how did the Mongolian coaches handle the news? By taking their clothes off and throwing them at the judges of course. What? If you think they were acting purely out of emotion, claiming they were just “lost in the moment," you’d be wrong as well, since the video clearly shows both coaches rallying the crowd in support of their striptease. Classy, right? I mean nothing says sportsmanship like tossing your pants into the crowd.