USOC Statement Confirms Ryan Lochte, Three Others, Robbed at Gunpoint

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

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A statement from United States Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky confirmed that Ryan Lochte and three other members of the U.S. Olympic swim team were robbed at gunpoint in the wee hours of Sunday morning after the conclusion of the Olympic swimming competition.

The others robbed included Gunnar BentzJack Conger and Jimmy Feigen. All three won Olympic gold medals this week in Rio.

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.

USA TODAY Sports first reported the incident Sunday, with Lochte’s mother, Illena Lochte, confirming the news, even as the IOC denied that anything had happened.

“I think they’re all shaken up,” Illena Lochte said to USA TODAY. “They just took their wallets and basically that was it.”

UPDATE: Lochte discussed the incident with NBC’s Billy Bush.

“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 said. “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.”

UPDATE No. 2: Bentz responded to the incident on Twitter, reassuring friends and fans that he was fine.

5 Comments

5 comments

  1. avatar
    Tomas Thrainsson

    When are people going to learn that Rio is not a place to go around with any valuables at any time, day or night? It may be a beautiful city, but unfortunately the criminal elements seem to have the city to themselves!

  2. avatar
    superfan

    nothing good happens after midnight……especially in Rio!

  3. avatar

    Oh my goodness. I would be shaken up, too! Violence like this is simply unacceptable. So glad everyone is OK.

    • avatar
      Frank Wilson

      Unacceptable or not, it is the reality in Rio and many other cities of the world. If one is going to be traveling around the worlds cities, whether as an athlete or not, one has to learn to take safety precautions appropriate for the city or location one is in. Americans in particular have difficulty realizing that there are still many dangerous people and places in this world, both abroad and in the United States. So wherever you go, learn about local conditions and act appropriately!

  4. avatar
    Hagar

    Several years ago I attended a medical meeting in Rio. After an evening event, one of the physicians from France was walking just one block off Copacabana. He was held up, gave the robber all he had, but he was shot in the head and killed anyway. I was told that it was common so there were no witnesses. I would never travel to Rio. When they announced that the Olympics would be there, I wondered how much trouble there would be.

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer for Swimming World. A contributor to the magazine and website since 2009, he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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