Even Olympic medalists aren't immune to robbery. Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint this last Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. The U.S. Olympic Committee later reported the swimmers were safe and cooperating with police to identify the suspects.
Patrick Sandusky, the USOC spokesman, told reporters that the swimmers' taxi was on its way to the Olympic Village when it was "stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes' money and other personal belongings." One of these "officers" even put his gun to Lochte's forehead.
"We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a police badge, no lights, no nothing -- just a police badge and they pulled us over," Lochte told NBC. "They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground -- they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn't do anything wrong, so -- I'm not getting down on the ground.
"And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, 'Get down,' and I put my hands up, I was like 'whatever.' He took our money, he took my wallet -- he left my cell phone, he left my credentials."
Lochte later released a statement via his official Twitter account, thanking family, friends, and fans for their support following the traumatic ordeal.https://twitter.com/RyanLochte/status/764944107101978625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Bentz also tweeted an all-clear message, and even joked that the robbers did not get their hands on Lochte's gold medal.https://twitter.com/TheGunnyBunny/status/764888950142042112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Just hours after the robbery occurred, the civil police opened an official investigation without being prompted by the USOC.
Other teammates have spoken up about the incident, including Nathan Adrian of Team USA.
"[I'm] certainly very happy that all those boys are safe, you know that's the number one priority on top of everything," he said. "Rio is an amazing city and there is going to be problems anywhere you go."
"We were given briefings in a couple of meetings coming into this," American swimmer Ryan Murphy added. "I think we all trust our security guys and they have done a great job throughout this whole trip with us."
Several other attacks have taken place during the Olympic Games, including the June attack of a Paralympic athlete, the robbery of Australian Olympians before the Opening Ceremony, and the smashing of a media van window, to name but a few. These attacks have brought Rio's safety into question.
We're just glad no one was seriously hurt this time.