The swimmer, 32, made false claims that he and three other Team USA swimmers were robbed at gunpoint at a Rio gas station on a night out to celebrate their win. He later admitted that he still wasn’t sure what really happened the night of the incident.
“After Rio, I was probably the most hated person in the world,” Lochte told the ESPN. “There were a couple of points where I was crying, thinking, ‘If I go to bed and never wake up, fine.’ ”
When prompted if that meant that he considered suicide, Lochte nodded.
“I was about to hang up my life entirely,” he said.
Lochte adds that he “doesn’t fit in” at the Olympic Games.
“You can be at the all-time high and then the next second the all-time low,” he said. “I love being at the Olympics, but I’m the opposite of what you’d expect. It’s been that way my whole life.”
But, he adds, “everything happens for a reason.”
“Look, I was done with swimming back in 2013. I was drained, wiped out,” he told ESPN. “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!”
Lochte has a baby on the way with Playboy model Kayla Rae Reid, who told ESPN that she “wasn’t interested in [Lochte] at first. I’d heard he was a party guy. He was so different than what I imagined.”
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Reid is due in July and the couple has already decorated their nursery in blue and gray.
“We want him to speak a second language,” Lochte said of his son. “Probably Spanish,” he told the publication, as a nod to Lochte’s Cuban mother, Ileana.
The story, “Do You Really Still Hate Ryan Lochte?” by senior writer Allison Glock, appears in ESPN The Magazine’s “World Fame 100” Issue, currently on newsstands.