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Over the weekend, veteran swimmer Ryan Lochte and a crew of his swimming pals decided to check out the local nightlife in Rio. As they were returning in a taxi, they were pulled over by what they thought was the police, but what was actually a crew of robbers who ended up stealing their money and their wallets. The swimmer confirmed to NBC that he, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen are all safe, but he also released an official statement about the event. Here's what he had to say:
I want to thank all of my family, friends and fans for the overwhelming support and concern I have received today. While it is true that my teammates and I were the victims of a robbery early Sunday morning, what is most important is that we are safe and unharmed. I am honored to have represented the U.S. here at the Rio Olympics and to win Gold for my country alongside my teammates. I look forward to getting home so that I can begin to map out the plans for my future with an eye on representing Team USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Following the robbery, there was a lot of confusion related to what happened. At first, the IOC declared that no robbery had occurred, at all, but in the time since, Ryan Lochte's mother Ileana Lochte and Gunnar Bentz have both seemingly confirmed what happened. It probably didn't help that Ryan Lochte told a tell of bravado to NBC, noting that he had been told to get on the ground while a gun was pointed at him. According to the swimmer, his response was, "Whatever." Reports indicate the Rio police plan to follow up with the athletes in order to try and determine what happened.
While police investigate, Ryan Lochte and some of the others have taken to social media to respond to what happened. What's clear is that the four men spent the night on the town before returning to the Olympic Village, picking up popcorn from a vendor before they grabbed a taxi. However, it's unclear why the taxi pulled over and what happened to the driver after the incident. Lochte says he was allowed to keep his phone and his credentials, but that his wallet was stolen.
Obviously, Rio does not have the reputation as the safest city on the planet, and there were some concerns about safety before the Olympics even began. However, it's good to know the Olympians are safe, even if the did lose some money in the process. For more 2016 Olympics coverage from Rio, head here or tune in to NBC on weeknights through August 21. And to see what is coming to TV this fall, check out our premiere schedule.