Ryan Lochte robbery scandal: Who are the four American swimmers at the centre of media firestorm?

Learn more about the four American swimmers in the Ryan Lochte robbery saga

Ryan Lochte was one of the four swimmers involved in the robbery saga

Friday, August 19, 2016

Four US swimmers in the American Olympic team sparked global controversy thuis week after claiming to have been robbed at gunpoint in a Rio gas station. It now appears that the four were lying, prompting the US Olympic Committee to apologise for their behaviour and inform the world they in fact vandalised the gas station.

But who are these four swimmers, who have emerged from the shadow of America's number one swimmer, Michael Phelps, and into a harsh and remorseless spotlight?

talkRADIO takes a look at the four men, and the careers which now appear to lie in ruins.

Ryan Lochte

Lochte started swimming at age five, before his family moved to Florida so his father could coach the sport. He took swimming classes with his father, and competed in Junior Olympics tournaments.

The first Olympic Games he qualified for was in 2004 in Athens, winning the gold medal in the 4 by 200 metre relay. In the 200 metre relay he achieved a silver medal, behind Michael Phelps.

Phelps has remained America's most famous swimmer internationally, but Lochte has achieved considerable fame of his own. In 2007 he was named Male Swimmer of the Year by the USA Swimming Foundation and American Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine. He's also appeared on Vogue and on People magazine’s 2012 Sexiest Man Alive list, and made TV appearances on 30 Rock and Beverly Hills 90210.

In 2013, his own TV show was created What would Ryan Lochte Do? which was broadcast on E!.

Jimmy Feigen

The swimmer started out for the Churchill Chargers High School swimming team at Winston Churchill High School in Texas. He held the high school national record in the 100 yard freestyle and 50 yard freestyle.

He also swam for his college as a Texas Longhorn, receiving 17 All-American Honours.

The first Olympics he competed in was in London 2012, where he earned a silver medal in the 4 by 100 metre relay. In 2013 he competed in the World Championships, coming second in the 100 metre freestyle. He also finished second in the 4 by 100 metre relay. 

Also in 2013, he competed in Duel in the Pool, which is a swimming race between top American swimmers and top European swimmers. He finished in fourth place in the 100 metre freestyle, but claimed gold in the 50 metre freestyle. Feigen also helped the team win in the 4 by 100 metre relay.

Gunnar Bentz

Bentz began swimming at three years-old. Later he then became a Georgia state champion, national champion and record holder at St. Pius X Catholic High School. 

Bentz has also featured in Swimming World, having been named a cover personality.

In the 2012 FINA World Cup and Junior Pan Pacific Championships he won two bronze medals. In the next year at the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships he won two gold medals, competing in the 200 metres and the 400 metres and setting junior world records in both.

Rio 2016 was his first Olympics.

Jack Conger

Having started out in the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club in Maryland, he has since moved on to international competitions.

In the 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships he won gold in the 200 metre backstroke and won it again in the 2013 World University Games.

Also in 2012 in the 200 metre backstroke in the U.S. Open Championships he finished in second place, putting him on the 2013-2014 U.S. National Team.

In the 2015 World University Games Conger won silver in the 100 metre freestyle as well as in the 400 metre relay.

His first Olympics is Rio 2016.