During a special presentation of NBC Nightly News, Lochte came clean to Lauer and explained how he exaggerated key details in the story of the robbery in Rio de Janeiro that has been making headlines since last week. Originally, Lochte said that he and three of U.S. swimming teammates — Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen — were held at gunpoint by men dressed as police officers and forced to hand over their wallets. At one point, Lochte had said, one of the "robbers" held a gun to his forehead.
"That didn't happen and that's why — I overexaggerated that part, " Lochte explained to Lauer. "I know what I did was wrong." Instead, the Brazilian police investigation revealed that Lochte and his teammates had been involved in the vandalization of a local gas station after leaving a party in Rio. Security guards then pulled a gun on the four men and demanded they pay the gas station attendant for the damages. The gun was drawn and pointed in Lochte's direction, but was never at his forehead.
Lochte said he was intoxicated that night in Rio. "I'm not making me being intoxicated like an excuse, I'm not doing that at all," he said. "It was my fault and I shouldn't have said it."
The swimmer, who won a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay, also apologized to the people of Rio for any negative attention his story may have brought to their city. "They put on a great Games. The people of Rio or Brazil, the authorities, everyone there put on a great Games," he said. "And my immature behavior tarnished that a little, and I don't want that."
Lochte's future swimming career is now in the hands of Olympic officials, who he hopes will be able to forgive him for the events of the past week. "If they give me that chance I definitely know I can turn this around and become that role model for little kids," Lochte said. "I don't want little kids to look at me for what I just did, for that one night. I don't want that."
The rest of Lochte's interview with Lauer will air during Monday's Today show.