American Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan claimed today that he won a silver medal in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.
The Republican congressman from the state of Wisconsin revealed this hitherto unknown achievement when asked by an ABC News interviewer why he has never served in his nation's armed services.
Ryan responded by saying that although he deeply respects the millitary, he was too busy serving his country by training for the Olympic triathlon competition to consider joining himself.
"When I was 18, 19, 20 years old my mind had a singular focus - winning a triathlon medal in Spain," Ryan explained, "And I did it. It was amazing."
"I'll tell you when I was in the middle of 15 hour training days there were times when I thought about giving up. I thought about just going home, going to some college dorm room somewhere and party."
"But I never threw in the towel. I worked harder and harder. And I persevered. That's who I am. And I'll bring that experience of excellence and achievement to government."
A Tall Tale Teller
The revelation of Ryan's Olympic past comes as a shock to Wisconsionites back home. Local journalists cannot recall him ever mentioning his Olympic medal during his previous campaigns for Congress. And none of Ryan's high school friends recall him mentioning a love for the triathlon.
College acquaintances don't remember Ryan ever taking time off to train. Stuart Robertson, a classmate of Ryan's at the Miami University of Ohio is baffled:
"You would think if someone from our school won an Olympic medal I would have heard about it."
Indeed, a review of records provided by the International Olympic Committee reveals that no one named Paul Ryan has never participated in an Olympic event. And according to the U.S. Olympic Committee, no one with that name has ever even tried out for the U.S. Olympic team.
More damning to Ryan's story, the triathalon has only been an Olympic event since 2000 and no contest took place in 1992 in Barcelona.
Since his elevation to the presidental ticket, the outwardly pious Ryan has had what might charitably be called a difficult relationship with the truth. He has made a number of easily-debunked claims with a frequency that has caught seasoned political observers off guard.
He has even lied about performance in sports before - once claiming to have run a sub 3 hour marathon, before recanting as journalists failed to find any record of the event.
Bill Gerald, a political science professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene sees Ryan as a unique political figure:
"All politicians lie. But usually they lie about things that are hard to prove. Ryan is unusual. He'll lie about whether its raining or not."
Contacted by The Daily Currant a spokesperson for Ryan dismissed concerns over his campaign's truthfulness:
"We're not letting facts dictate our campaign. Paul Ryan is an Olympic hero. Get used to it."