Oh no! Four members of the USA Swim Team, including Ryan Lochte, confirmed to news outlets today that they were robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The incident, which occurred early this Sunday morning, was originally denied by a spokesman from the International Olympic Committee. However, details of the attack were revealed in an official statement by United States Olympic Committee spokesman, Patrick Sandusky:
“According to four members of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte), they left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village. Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings. All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”
Lochte detailed his own account of the chilling event in an interview with NBC’s Billy Bush this afternoon:
We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte told Bush. “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, along with the other swimmers involved, were understandably a bit shaken up following the robbery. Luckily, none of them were injured during what could have potentially turned into a very dangerous situation. One of the swimmers involved, Gunnar Bentz, confirmed that he and his teammates were safe in a tweet following the attack:
We are all safe. Thank you for your love and support.
— Gunnar Bentz (@TheGunnyBunny) August 14, 2016
We are so sad to hear that this attack took place, but thankful that none of the athletes from Team USA were physically harmed.