Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, along with a number of other swimming athletes, were the victims of a robbery while in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics.
“The guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it and put to my forehead and said, ‘Get down.’ I was like (puts hands up) 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 credential but he took my wallet and he took all the guys cash,” Lochte said during an interview with Billy Bush for NBC.
He also said that the robbers claimed they were members of the Brazilian police and even showed their badges. On his own Twitter account, Lochte also confirmed the incident saying that he and his teammates had been “the victims of a robbery early Sunday morning.”
Nonetheless, he said that he and the other swimming athletes were “safe and unharmed.”
According to a report from The Washington Post, Lochte had been robbed along with Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen. They were in a taxi when the incident happened. The men had left Club France by the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon when the robbers went after them. It is unclear if the athletes were targeted or if they were just victims of a crime of opportunity.
Earlier, International Olympics Committee Director of Communications Mark Adams had said that the story of Lochte being held at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro was not true. Lochte’s own personal coach also made the same claims during an earlier interview.
Meanwhile, Lochte’s mother, Ileana Lochte, had confirmed the incident to USA Today, saying, “I think they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them. No, they were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it”
Following their ordeal in Rio, Lochte simply said, “I look forward to getting home so that I can begin to map out the plans for my future with an eye on representing #TeamUSA at the #2020 Tokyo Olympics.”