Security plays a major part in keeping the tourists safe and the athletes comfortable. When they get mugged, like Ryan Lochte and some of his pals did this weekend, it proves the security may not be quite up to par.In the leadup to the games, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor, Eduaro Paes, told a somewhat surprising truth to the media: the state was doing a terrible job in regard to security leading up to the games.Now, it seems, Olympic athletes are reaping the consequences of that lackluster buildup.Ryan Lochte became the latest victim when he and three other swimmers were forced onto their knees and mugged. The Olympic champion had his wallet taken from him at gunpoint.The attackers posed as police officers. They brandished guns and badges and demanded the swimmers “get down,” according to the six-time American gold medal swimmer.The Rio Civil Police began investigating the crime only after it was reported in the media. They said a robbery had not been reported.
The crime follows a string of other Olympic incidents. Two Australian Paralympians were robbed of their bicycles at gunpoint shortly before the Lochte robbery. A Spanish gold-medalist sailor and his friends were also accosted by armed men and robbed.Armed robbery and crime are just two of the many problems facings Olympians in Rio. Concerns of the head-shrinking Zika virus, water pollution and green pool water also weigh heavily on the minds of Olympic athletes.Australia even went so far as to ban its athletes from visiting Ipanema and Copacabana beaches after dark, citing security concerns.The country advised its athletes to “stay in groups of three, and if travelling at night, a vehicle must be used.”Brazil harbors 19 of the most violent cities in the world as of 2014, and four of the ten most violent.The gunpoint robberies in Rio de Janeiro come after claims that if you are “white, middle class or wealthy, and you’re a foreigner, you’re probably going to be as safe as you are in a Northeastern city in the United States,” by the head of a Rio-based security think tank in July.