"I was about to hang up my entire life."
ESPN's Allison Glock recently interviewed Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte for a cover story in ESPN the Magazine, in which she spoke with the 32-year old gold medalist about everything from his friends and reality tv to his life as a father and the infamous gas station scandal at the Rio Olympics last Summer.
Lochte quickly became one of the most ridiculed and hated athletes after the incident in Rio and mentioned that there was a time when he "was about to hang up his entire life."
Per ESPN's Allison Glock,
"When Lochte arrived home in Charlotte (on what he says was a prescheduled flight), there were a dozen media vans outside his house. He watched the news, read the online comments, the searing articles outlining how "Ryan Lochte Is the Worst!" In days, he lost every sponsor. He also received death threats. At a public appearance, Reid had a glass thrown at her head."
"After Rio, I was probably the most hated person in the world," Lochte mumbles. "There were a couple of points where I was crying, thinking, 'If I go to bed and never wake up, fine.'" Asked if that means he considered suicide, Lochte nods slowly. "I was about to hang up my entire life."
In the article, titled "Do You Really Still Hate Ryan Lochte?," Lochte explains that he is now completely focused on qualifying for the 2020 Summer games in Tokyo, Japan.
He'll be eligible to resume competition after the world championships in Hungary next month.
"Everything happens for a reason," he said. "Look, I was done with swimming back in 2013. I was drained, wiped out. Now I've found a new purpose with my son. This fire has been ignited, and it's bigger than ever, and I'm just so excited because I know what's going to happen in Tokyo. Everyone is going to have to watch out!"
You can check out the full piece here.