For most of the big name athletes coming off the Olympics right now, I'd say an invite to a big, entertainment industry party would be a given, but this award season begs the question: will Ryan Lochte be at the VMAs? A couple weeks ago, my answer would've been a resounding yes, given how high-profile the 32-year old swimmer is, and how decorated he is with Olympic medals, but things aren't quite that straight-forward in Lochte's case. Although he won a gold at the Rio Games in the 400x200 m freestyle, giving him a total of 12 medals overall (six golds, three silvers, and three bronze), unfortunately, Lochte's name is currently more associated with controversy than it is with accomplishment.
At the end of the Rio Olympics, after his events had been completed, Lochte had a now-infamous night out with three other swimmers, which he initially claimed ended in their being robbed at gunpoint, a story he later backtracked on when inconsistencies in his story were noted. Lochte later acknowledged that he had been drunk and "over-exaggerated" the situation; it seems that in actuality, the swimmer may have been responsible for public urination and vandalism, and attempted to flee the scene, leading to the confrontation with Brazilian authorities that he admitted to exaggerating.
In short, this is a big old mess, and even if MTV had considered extending an invitation to the talented athlete, in the wake of all this backpedaling and over-exaggerating, Lochte likely isn't worth the liability. So while it might be fun to see him in the audience — especially now that he's dyed his hair back to its natural color — if even Lochte's endorsements are dropping him, I can't imagine that the Video Music Awards are dying to associate with him right now. Sorry about your timing, buddy, but better luck in four years!