Usain Bolt’s historic unbeaten Olympic Games streak continued in the Rio 31st Summer Games last night with a win in the men’s 200 metres, making him join his compatriot Elaine Thompson as double sprint champions for another first in Olympic history.
And both have another new history page ready to be written when they run relay legs tonight with their Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago also in the showdown for precious metal.
Bolt’s magnificence for a moment buried the ugly scenario of Brazil Police uncovering falsehood by three US Swimmers that they had been robbed.
The news is that two U.S. Olympic swimmers flew home from Brazil yesterday after a local crowd jeered them, calling them “liars” and “fakes”, and police accused them of fabricating a story about being robbed at gunpoint during the Rio Games.
Their departure marked what the U.S. Olympic team hopes will be the closing stages of an incident that has embarrassed the host city, angered the police and government, unleashed a storm on social media, and dominated news coverage of South America’s first Olympics.
The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) issued an apology after the departure of Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, who were among four U.S. swimmers shown to have lied about being stopped by gunmen posing as police in the early hours of Sunday.
Apart from Bentz and Conger, the incident involved gold medalist Ryan Lochte, one of America’s most decorated swimmers and the most outspoken about the robbery, and Jimmy Feigen, who also won a gold medal in Rio.
Lochte returned to the United States on Monday. Feigen revised his police statement yesterday in the hope of securing the release of his passport, the USOC said.
Feigen it is being said had agreed to pay $11,000 to a Brazilian charity to avoid prosecution in the case, citing his attorney Breno Melaragno Costa.
The outlet said the dispute would be settled, his passport returned, and Feigen would be allowed to leave the country once payment was made to the Reaction Institute charity.
The USOC confirmed police accusations, including that one of the swimmers had vandalized the gas station after the group stopped there to use the bathroom during a taxi ride back to the Athletes’ Village from a late-night party in the city.
After days of standing by the swimmers’ story, the USOC also backed up other police evidence, including a security video showing the swimmers in an argument with staff at the Shell service station.
An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment,” it said, adding that the guards allowed the swimmers to leave once some cash had been handed over.
The USOC said it would further review the incident and assess any potential consequences for the athletes. USA Swimming said it could also take possible action.
During the two weeks of the Rio Games, the sporting action has been competing for headlines against a series of muggings and armed robberies of high-profile athletes and visitors in Rio de Janeiro, including two government ministers.
None created more embarrassment for Rio than Lochte’s statement that a robber had at one point put a gun to Lochte’s forehead and demanding the group’s wallets.