At this point the United States should protest further Olympics that occur in poverty-stricken countries where crime is rampant.
Rio de Janeiro is unsafe and dangerous. Yes, the Olympics bring a massive amount of money and beneficially boosts their economy, but when the city who is representing the Olympics promises to be in accordance with the committee’s rules of safety and health, and they do neither of those things, maybe the committee should consider staying away from areas like Rio de Janeiro.
Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel has consistently reported on the safety and poverty of Olympic and World Cup cities for the last 20 years. On their special episode a few weeks ago, they brought to light that the politicians had lied about where the money would be funneled to host the games with evidence of a massive open sewage dump in the middle of the city.
Gumbel exposed the poor living and lack of clean water in the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, they exposed the child sex trafficking in Johannesburg the same year, and they uncovered a plethora of dangers at the current Rio Olympics.
And unless you’ve been living on the moon, the Zika virus, which has been linked to child birth defects, prevented top athletes from even making the journey down to South America.
And then on Sunday morning—a brilliant night for the United States Olympic swim team, capping off an extraordinary run with gold medals in both men and women’s relay – ended on a very tragic and nearly life altering note for four members of the US swim team.
The most decorated male Olympic swimmer of all time Ryan Lochte – with 12 Olympic medals just behind Michael Phelps – and three other US swimmers were robbed at gunpoint.
Patrick Sandusky, a USOC spokesperson, released a statement Sunday that read;
“According to four members of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte), they left the 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.”
One of the bandits reportedly put a gun to Lochte’s forehead.
Lochte and fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen had left a hospitality house hosted by France late that night in a taxi bound for the Olympic Village where all of the US Olympians stay.
Lochte appeared on NBC with Billy Bush on Sunday morning to report the details of the occurrence:
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a police badge, no lights, no nothing — just a police badge and they pulled us over. 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.”
Lochte continued, emotionally saying:
“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.”
Even Lochte’s mother noted to USA Today, “I think they’re all shaken up.”
Who wouldn’t be in that situation?
Apparently Rio de Janeiro police told CNN they have officially “opened an investigation,” about the robbery.
Many videos have gone viral of pick-pocketers during these Olympics. Keeping our athletes safe should be our number one priority.