Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte says he struggled emotionally after returning home from the Rio Olympics, days after he was at the center of a scandal that rocked the Games.
In an interview with ESPN’s Allison Glock published Tuesday, Lochte says people wanted a reason to hate him and it hurt him personally.
"There were a couple of points where I was crying, thinking, 'If I go to bed and never wake up, fine,'" Lochte said in the interview.
When Glock asked if he contemplated suicide, Lochte said, "I was about to hang up my entire life."
In Rio, Lochte and three teammates were involved in a gas station incident after a night out partying after their competition was finished. Lochte embellished details of his story about a skirmish at the gas station in which he had allegedly knocked over an advertising poster. A USA TODAY Sports investigation showed that, while Lochte did exaggerate when he said in a TV interview that security guards had put a gun to his forehead, he and teammates were threatened by guards.
In an interview with USA TODAY Sports last year during his stint on Dancing with the Stars, Lochte described the situation as "insane" when he came home to Charlotte.
“In my eyes, I was the most hated person ever,’’ Lochte said last year. “I thought about just hiding for like a year straight. Not even go out. Like, if I do, wearing sunglasses and a cap. Just completely hiding away from everyone. I was that low.’’