As the Team USA swimmer chatted with NBC's Matt Lauer in the wake of the Rio robbery scandal, viewers around the world received another apology. At the same time, they saw a gold medalist voice his determination to get back in the pool for another summer game.
"All I know is that I learned my lesson, I definitely did. These kind of shenanigans or whatever you want to call them will never happen again and I love this sport," Ryan shared during his exclusive sit-down with NBC. "I dedicated my whole entire life to it and it's not who I am. I'm not done with this sport. There is still more I want to accomplish. All I know is I'm going to move forward from this and learn from this and better myself in making sure this never happens again."
In fact, Ryan wanted to take it one step further. When sitting down with Matt in New York City, the Olympic athlete shared his goal to compete in the Tokyo games in 2020.
"If they give me this chance, I know I can turn this around and become that role model for little kids," he proclaimed. "I don't want little kids to look at me for what I just did, for that one night. I don't want that. I don't want them to look at me as ‘he was the drunk frat boy' or anything like that. I want to be a role model for those little kids."
During the emotional 20-minute interview, the 32-year-old admitted his "immature behavior" caused the biggest scandal at the Rio games. And while he takes "full responsibility" for over exaggerating the facts, what hurts him the most is the pain he caused his teammates and all the athletes competing in Rio.
"I let my team down. I wanted to be there. I don't want them to think that I left and left them dry…I'm just really sorry. I'm embarrassed for myself, my family, especially those guys, USA swimming, the whole Olympic games, everyone watching. I was just immature and I made a huge mistake," he shared. "I took away from their accomplishments and I think that's what hurts me the most is that everyone is just watching my immature antics and I'm just embarrassed."
Ryan's television interview comes just one day after he apologized on social media and admitted to making mistakes. He has since returned home with his rumored girlfriend Kayla Rae Reid.
His teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen have also all been able to obtain their passports and travel back home in the states.
Watch more of Matt's exclusive interview with Ryan Monday morning on NBC's Today show.
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