Ryan Lochte and Three Teammates Robbed at Gunpoint
RIO DE JANEIRO — Ryan Lochte, an Olympic gold medalist in swimming, and three of his U.S. teammates were held up at gunpoint here early Sunday, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee, heightening anxiety over violent crime in the host city of the Summer Games.
Crime was already a top concern before the Rio Games began, as Brazil’s economic crisis deepened, pushing up unemployment and poverty rates. The Rio state government deployed a huge security force, and the streets surrounding the Olympic Park and the athletes’ village sometimes look like military compounds.
But, nonetheless, crimes have occurred more frequently than at other recent Olympics. On the night of the opening ceremony, the chief of security was mugged at knife point. Two coaches for Australia’s rowing team were attacked and robbed in the Ipanema neighborhood, while some Olympians were robbed of belongings in the athletes’ village during a fire drill. Bullets have landed in the equestrian venue, and a bus carrying members of the news media was attacked, its windows shattered.
On Sunday, Rio Olympics officials were confronted with the most high-profile crime yet.
Besides Lochte, the other U.S. swimmers robbed, according to a statement from the committee, were Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen.
美国奥委会的声明显示，除了罗切特，其他被劫的美国游泳运动员包括贡纳尔·本茨(Gunnar Bentz)、杰克·康格(Jack Conger)和吉米·费根(Jimmy Feigen)。
“Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings,” a spokesman for the USOC said. “All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”
Lochte told NBC News that one of the men had put a cocked gun to his head.
“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,” he 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 cellphone, he left my credentials.”
“I think they’re all shaken up,” Ileana Lochte, the swimmer’s mother, told USA Today. “They just took their wallets, and basically that was it.”
“我觉得他们都受到了惊吓，”这名游泳运动员的母亲伊莱亚娜·罗切特(Ileana Lochte)在接受《今日美国》(USA Today)采访时表示。“这帮人直接抢走了他们的钱包，基本上就是这样。”
Bentz and Conger participated in the heats of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, but not the final. Feigen did the same in the 4x100-meter relay.
Lochte won a gold medal in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay and finished fifth in the 200-meter individual medley, his only individual event. The swimming competition at the Rio Games had concluded Saturday night.
Lochte initially denied reports of the robbery through Olympic officials.
At a news conference Sunday, another American swimmer, Ryan Murphy, mentioned the multiple security briefings the team had received before the games. “I think we all trust our security guys, and they’ve done a great job,” he said.
A spokesman for U.S.A. Swimming declined at the news conference to specify what instructions those briefings had provided but noted that they had included tips on transportation in Rio.
Conflicting accounts of the taxi episode had swirled on Sunday morning, after a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee said that reports of the robbery were “absolutely not true,” citing information that had been provided by the U.S. committee.
After Ileana Lochte’s statements that her son had indeed been robbed, the IOC spokesman said he had simply passed along information from the U.S. Olympic officials. “They said they spoke to Lochte, and he said it wasn’t true,” the spokesman said. “I guess that may change.”
Ryan Lochte’s Twitter feed was silent on the matter; his last post was made Saturday, a picture of him with the snowboarder Shaun White. He did not respond Sunday to a request for comment.
David Marsh, Ryan Lochte’s coach, referred inquiries to U.S.A. Swimming, which did not immediately reply to a request for comment.