Wizard World’s convention circuit has often taken on some of pop culture’s “black sheep” and repackaged them as comic-con guests. Nothing wrong with that. Disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich made an appearance at a Chicago show a few years ago, for instance.
And now Ryan Lochte, the disgraced swimmer and reality TV star, is joining the Wizard Tour at Wizard World Comic Con Richmond on Saturday, September 10.
Lochte will greet fans, sign a limited number of free autographs and pose for free “selfies” as well as paid professional photo ops from 11:30-4 p.m. at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
Lochte has become a transcendent figure in the sports world, with 12 championships on the world’s biggest stage. He is the current world record holder in the 200 and 400 individual medley and has been named both American and World Swimmer of the Year twice in his career (2010 & 2011) and has a total of 80 medals in major international competition including 53 first place finishes. As a Florida Gator, Ryan was a two-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year, 24-time NCAA All-American, and 7-time NCAA Champion. At the 2015 World Championships, Ryan made history with his fourth consecutive victory in the 200-meter IM.
Lochte is a great athlete, no doubt, but he made all the wrong headlines at the Rio Olympis by telling a made up story about getting robbed at gunpoint to cover up the fact that he and some fellow US swimmers had roughed up a Rio gas station.
It’s always the cover up, Ryan. Always.
Given the loss of his sponsors, it’s possible that Lochte also needs a little money to pay some bills.
At any rate, if Wizard ever gets back to the idea of having a cruise, Lochte can pull the boat with a a rope in his teeth should anything go amiss.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.