Ryan Lochte: Criticism of Swimmer's Patriotic Display Is Absurd

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJuly 29, 2012

SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 26:  A detail of Ryan Lochte of the United States as he bites his gold medal with a grill in his moutch after the Men's 200m Freestyle Final during Day Eleven of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 26, 2011 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Ryan Lochte is not only the world's best at the 400 individual medley, he's also a bit of a rebel. After he was told that he wouldn't be able rock his custom-made patriotic grill on the podium, per USA Today, he decided to pop them in after he received his gold medal.

You sly dog.

But really, what is the big deal?

It isn't as if the grills read as some anti-peace political statement. It makes me wonder: Are rules-makers really asking themselves an all-important question—what is the point?

Are the Olympics not supposed to be a celebration of one's country and a show of pride in your nation, culture, etc?

Are the colors and flags of the athletes' countries not flown on flags above the stadium, and celebrated throughout competition?

What's the big deal behind Lochte rocking the American grill?

Mark Adams, an IOC spokesman said this in the USA Today article: "I can only speculate that it may have been a uniform issue, that it may not have been part of the uniform.''

Really, Mark?

Since when are teeth a part of the uniform? People really need to loosen up, especially where there is no conceivable insult or wrongdoing. Rules for the sake of having a rule suck.

Of course, this is the first time an athlete has done this in the Olympics, but sometimes there's no harm in allowing some new flavor.

The Olympics is largely based on the athleticism of the youth in the world. These types of trivial restrictions stagnate self-expression and impact individuality. That never works when dealing with young people.

Most Olympic athletes make their money from endorsements. Acts like this can help springboard them into opportunities, and beyond all that it's fun.

Isn't that supposed to be why we're all participating to some degree?

Here's to hoping the IOC gets their priorities in order.


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