A group of US swimmers have suffered a terrifying ordeal after being held up and robbed at gunpoint while out celebrating their Olympic wins.
The four swimmers Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were heading back to their accommodation after dinner when their car was pulled over by a group of men dressed in police uniforms.
Ryan, who is one of America’s most famous and successful swimmers, said he tried to resist at first but soon realised they weren’t messing around.
“We got pulled over and these guys came out with a police badge,” he said.
“They pulled out their guns, told the other swimmers to get down on the ground and they got down. 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, cocked it, put it to my forehead and said ‘get down’. I put my hands up and was like ‘whatever’. He took our money, my wallet. He left my cellphone and my credentials.”
The incident is just the latest in a long line of similar attacks on athletes since arriving in Rio.
After this latest brazen attack though, Australian athletes have now been banned from Rio’s famed Copacabana and Ipanema beaches after dark.
Australian Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said our athletes need to be extra careful when leaving the village as these attacks are showing no sign of slowing down.
“There’s been a lot of increased petty criminal, but criminal, activity on the actual beaches,” Kitty said.
Aussie athletes have already been instructed to travel in groups of three and use vehicles for transport after dark “even if you’re only going 4- or 500 meters”, Kitty said.
Usually athletes like to stay in the host country after they finish competing to do a bit of sight-seeing, but there are now calls for them to come straight home after they are done.