The American swimming gold medalist and three other USA teammates were held up at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.

  15 August 2016 20:10 - Six-time American Olympic gold medal winner and notorious party boy Ryan Lochte found out the hard way that Rio isn’t all big butts and coconuts. Early Sunday morning Lochte and three other teammates took a cab leaving a party in the well-off neighborhood of Lagoa and were headed home to the Olympic Village when they got pulled by cops.

Or so it seemed.

Most cops don’t make passengers get out of a cab at gunpoint, get on their knees and give them their cash and valuable.

“These guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing, just a police badge and pulled us over,” Lochte told the “Today” show’s Billy Bush.

Luckily, no one was hurt. Not even Lochte after he initially refused to kneel, but had a change of heart when one of the robbers pressed the cocked handgun to his head.

Lochte described the incident to NBC: “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.”

Robberies are no fun but they’re a reality for many Brazilians and most tourists. In fact, not even the Chief of Security of the Olympics is safe, as he was robbed at knifepoint on the opening night of the games.

Having lived in Rio for the months leading up to the 2014 World Cup and some time after, I have firsthand experience of the city.

Every gringo in Rio at least knows someone who’s been robbed, if they haven’t been themselves. For some, it’s more than one incident. My classmate was robbed twice in one day. Most end nonviolently but a machete or gun is often used to give that little extra motivation to hand over the wallet or iPhone without delay.

So why was everyone trying to cover up the robbery? The United States Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee both denied the incident, before even speaking to any of the victims, which in addition to Lochte included Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen. Even David Marsh, Lochte’s personal coach and the head women’s coach for the U.S. swim team, also texted USA Today to deny the report.

It was eventually Lochte’s mother who kicked up the storm officials had tried to sweep under the rug when she confirmed the incident to USA Today.

That prompted Lochte to go live with the story on NBC. After Lochte’s mother's statements, the organizations quickly changed their story.

Mama really does know best.




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