Ryan Lochte on Being Held Up at Gunpoint During the Olympics: “I Was Like, Whatever”

Lead Photo: Ryan Lochte/Instagram
Ryan Lochte/Instagram
Read more

Over the weekend, a group of gunmen robbed Ryan Lochte and three other Team USA swimmers. Initially, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the US Olympic Committee (USOC) denied the incident happened, just as Lochte did. However, his mom, Ileana, forced the truth to come out after she spoke to the media.

It’s a serious matter, and one that further shines a light on crime in Rio de Janeiro. But to hear the way Lochte explained it, you’d think his life wasn’t in danger. “We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no light, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” he told NBC on Sunday.

“They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers [Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen] 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.”

After his breezy interview, Lochte shared a short note on social media. He thanked his family, friends, and fans for worrying about him. And he said he’s already looking toward the future.

Because this incident involved such high-profile athletes, it’s brought Rio more negative attention. Even before the games started, people hypothesized all the different ways the Olympics could end in disaster. So for those who went into Rio with a preconceived notion of the city, this might further reinforce these one-sided views. But it’s important to note that Brazil isn’t unique when it comes to crime during the Olympics.