Every Olympics games has its great extracurricular storyline: The 2014 games had Bob Costas' putrefying eyeball, for example; the 2012 Olympics in London had everyone super upset about NBC's tape delay.
And now, this year's Rio games has the ongoing mystery of what the hell Ryan Lochte and three fellow U.S. swim team members were doing on Sunday night that caused them to fabricate a dramatic claim of Brazilian armed robbery.
The incident has stoked endless speculation. But based on what we know about Ryan Lochte, from his years of public appearances, insane interviews, and incomprehensible Twitter account, it's possible to form a skeletal story.
Here's what I think happened:
With the competition over, U.S. swimmers Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen (also known as "the Breaststroke Boys") were chilling at Lochte's CouchSurfing pad, pounding Stellas and sending "🍆?" to all their Tinder matches.
After several hours of punching each other in the arm and cosplaying the HBO show Ballers, they start to crave Taco Bell. So they hop in Lochte's rental car—a lime-green Nissan Xterra with a "HONK IF YOU'RE HORNY" bumper sticker—and head out.
There's a fight over the aux cord, because Lochte has been trying to get everyone to "really listen to the lyrics" of this one Immortal Technique song and Conger wants to listen to Kottonmouth Kingz. Even though he's driving, Lochte challenges Conger to an arm wrestling match. Lochte wins but runs the car off the road and crashes into the Olympic diving pool.
They decide to go with the flow and party there, calling up some French weightlifters they had met earlier in the week at a BYOB kitesurfing party sponsored by DraftKings, but soon the suboptimal paint job on Lochte's Xterra begins to bleed into the pool, turning the water an unsightly aquamarine color.
"It's time to ditch!" Lochte screams, and the Breaststroke Boys scramble away like the Scooby Doo gang running away from a ghost.
They're still determined to get Taco Bell, however, so Lochte orders an Uber. They polish off a fifth of Malibu and four aerosol cans filled with Funfetti while they wait.
The Uber arrives, and the swimmers are stunned to find that their driver is Zac Efron. Efron is doing research for a movie role where he plays a kind-hearted fraternity president who becomes an Uber driver in order to save up money to throw the sickest graduation kegger in the history of Phi Beta Mu. He can't drive in America, because he's too famous, and also because his license has been suspended 8 times.
Lochte is stoked to see Zac Efron; Zac Efron is stoked to see Lochte. Everyone is super stoked.
Lochte asks Zac to drive them to Taco Bell but Efron's got a better idea: They head up to the mountain to the Jesus statue ("Pretty sure that's the lead singer of Creed" - Lochte) and get a sick 'Gram where they're all mooning Brazil with their gold medals slung around their asses. "It'll make a great LinkedIn profile pic," Conger notes.
Everyone's on board and—it bears repeating—incredibly stoked.
So they all pile into Zac Efron's Uber (which is, coincidentally, also a lime-green Nissan Xterra with a "HONK IF YOU'RE HORNY" bumper sticker) and zoom away from the flaming greenish Olympic diving pool. Conger and Lochte argue over whether to listen to Sublime or Mac Miller but Efron's like, "What if we could listen to both?"
So they're cruising through Rio bumping 2008-era Asher Roth, crushing it, when Zac Efron notices they need some fuel. He pulls into a gas station and, having never actually gassed up his own car and also having been partying for the last 103 hours straight, just rams the fender of the car straight into the pump, knocking the pump and the entire awning of the station to the ground.
The gas station security guards run out to see what the commotion is; Efron ditches, running off into the Brazilian night. He gets his agent on speakerphone: "This is bad. We need a photo op with that little American gymnast everyone loves ASAP."
Lochte, abandoned by Zac Efron, attempts to defuse the situation. He says this:
But the guards aren't having it. They refuse to say "jeah!!!" at the top of their lungs. They want cash for the damage.
Lochte balks, because he needs that cash for Taco Bell. He offers to give them Henna tattoos of the Red Bull wings. He offers to give them Lenny Kravitz's cell phone number. He offers to steal one of Michael Phelps' gold medals. No dice. The guards call the cops.
Following Lochte's lead, all of the swimmers toss their cash on the ground and then run away. Lochte gets his mom on the phone.
"Ma," he cries, bolting through the streets of Rio. "I was just held up at gunpoint by Brazilian crime lords pretending to be police officers!"
"Oh my God," Ryan Lochte's mother says. "What did you say to them?"
"Whatever," Lochte says.