As Spain looks ahead to a highly-anticipated semifinal matchup against the United States in the Olympic men’s basketball tournament on Friday, forward Nikola Mirotic’s Twitter game is in top form.
On Thursday, Mirotic posted an image of him and Chicago Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler, who is competing for Team USA, with a caption quoting a famous slogan of American president (and noted Bulls fan) Barack Obama.
"Ey JIMMY… YES WE CAN ??" pic.twitter.com/be8dMppF9T
— Nikola Mirotic (@threekola) August 18, 2016
Mirotic has reason to feel confident after his 23 points led Spain to a blowout quarterfinal victory over rivals France on Wednesday. Still, with the United States heavily favored to win and Pau Gasol possibly out with a calf injury, Mirotic may have to prepare himself for a more graceful showing in defeat than he exhibited last time around.
Image Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Lochte says he is not lying about being robbed at gunpoint at a gas station in Brazil early Sunday morning.
As conflicting stories continue to swirl about what actually happened with Lochte and his three U.S. swimming teammates, sources close to the six-time gold medalist tell TMZ the athletes were forced to get out of a cab and hand money over by men who pointed guns at them.
According to TMZ, Lochte mistook the security guards for police officers, which is why he initially claimed he was robbed at gunpoint by men posing as police. The surveillance footage that was released from the incident (watch it here) was edited, and Lochte’s camp claims three important minutes are missing during which the swimmers were coerced out of the cab at gunpoint.
While a previous report claimed a security officer had a gun but did not brandish it, a police official told The Associated Press on Thursday that two security guards did, in fact, point their guns at the four swimmers.
BREAKING: Brazil police official: 2 security guards pointed guns at US Olympic swimmers during gas station confrontation.
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 18, 2016
If that’s the case, you can see why Lochte said he was not lying. However, it’s hard to imagine he did not embellish and leave out important details given all we have heard. When he first told the story, Lochte claimed the cab he and his teammates were riding in was pulled over by armed robbers. Even his friends admitted to TMZ that Lochte lying about that is a “problem.”
It’s hard to separate fact from fiction at this point. That said, when you read what the swimmers allegedly did at the gas station, it’s easy to envision a situation in which they may have been extorted — at gunpoint — for money. Again, that doesn’t mean Lochte was being truthful. He clearly wanted the incident to sound like a random crime act.
Now that we have determined Ryan Lochte lied about being robbed at gunpoint over the weekend, investigators are still sorting through details of what actually happened. One report claims Lochte and his U.S. swimming teammates are responsible for shenanigans that include peeing where they shouldn’t have.
Security footage that has been released by Globo TV does not show a robbery, but it does appear to show the four swimmers being confronted by employees after they left a gas station restroom. Here’s the video:
A report from Reuters claims the swimmers broke the door to the bathroom and urinated outside around the back of the gas station.
As you can see in the footage, the swimmers were sat down and told not to leave by gas station security. One of the swimmers — believed to be Lochte — stood up at one point and you could clearly see two of his teammates trying to calm him down.
Whatever happened at the gas station, it’s clear we have come a long, long way from the story Lochte told originally about having a gun pointed at his head. Perhaps this can explain why the story got so out of control.
Ryan Lochte may have been involved in more than one incident the night he claimed he and three other U.S. swimming teammates were robbed at gunpoint.
While the evidence supporting the claim that the four swimmers lied continues to pile up, Yahoo Sports is reporting an “inebriated” Lochte was involved in “at least one incident” in the late hours of Saturday night into early Sunday morning — aside from the alleged armed robbery.
As for that armed robbery, it is sure starting to sound like there never was one. Brazilian authorities say they have obtained security footage that shows Lochte and his three teammates — Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger — caused significant damage to a gas station bathroom. A security guard reportedly demanded they pay for the damages and may have waved a gun at the swimmers at one point.
Lochte’s story was strange from the start, especially after he claimed he said “whatever” to an armed man who supposedly pressed a gun against his forehead. The IOC and U.S. Olympic Committee initially denied that the four swimmers were robbed. Lochte and his teammates reportedly told police they were too intoxicated to remember details of the incident.
Lochte is back home in the U.S. while Feigen, Bentz and Conger are being held in Brazil for questioning. A Brazilian law enforcement official reportedly felt that something wasn’t right about the way the four athletes acted when they returned to the Olympic village Sunday morning, but you can watch the footage here and judge for yourself.
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Ryan Lochte and three of his U.S. swimming teammates may have had a gun pulled on them early Sunday morning by someone who was demanding money, but one report claims it was not a random armed robbery.
According to the Daily Mail, Brazilian authorities have obtained surveillance footage that shows the four U.S. swimmers destroying a gas station bathroom. A security guard reportedly demanded that they pay for the damages and drew his gun on them when they refused.
“They stopped at a gas station and they were all really drunk. They went to the toilet and damaged it pretty badly,” a source told the Daily Mail. “The security guy saw them and started arguing with them – telling them they had to pay. They refused and argued back. He pointed his gun at them and insisted they pay for the damage – they gave him some money and left.”
That would certainly help explain why the alleged “robber” only took cash and all four swimmers kept their credentials.
News first emerged on Sunday that Lochte was robbed at gunpoint, and his mother confirmed the story. A judge in Brazil on Wedensday ordered the passports of Lochte and Jimmy Feigen to be seized and told the swimmers to not leave the country. Lochte had already returned home to the U.S., but Feigen remained in Rio. Two other swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were later pulled off an airplane and detained.
Police said earlier this week that Lochte and his teammates were too intoxicated to remember details of the robbery. One law enforcement official felt that the four men were not acting like they had just been robbed at gunpoint when they returned to the Olympic village Sunday morning, though you can watch the security footage here and judge for yourself.
Feigen, Bentz and Conger are being held in Brazil for questioning.
Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. Olympic swimmers lied about being robbed at gunpoint in Brazil over the weekend, according to a report.
Citing Brazilian authorities and sources in Brazil, Matt Gutman of ABC News said Thursday that Lochte and his teammates “fabricated” the robbery story after fighting with a security guard at a gas station.
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) August 18, 2016
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) August 18, 2016
News emerged Sunday that Lochte was held at gunpoint in Rio while on his way to a party he was invited to by a Brazilian swimmer. Lochte’s mother confirmed the story, while other officials denied it.
On Wednesday, a judge in Brazil ordered the passports of Lochte and Jimmy Feigen to be seized and told the swimmers to not leave the country. Lochte had already returned home to the U.S., but Feigen remained in Rio. Two other swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were later pulled off an airplane and detained.
Police say the swimmers told them they were too intoxicated to remember many details about the incident, which allegedly involved the taxi they were riding in being pulled over by one or more armed men. A judge wanted to question the swimmers due to differences in their testimonies, and a law enforcement official felt like the athletes were not acting like four men who had just been robbed in this security footage.
Green water is the least of the problems Rio Olympic officials have had with their pools, at least according to a group of scientists.
Three scientists who published a study in 2013 showing that a current influenced the results of 50m races at the 2013 world championships are claiming the same problem existed in the Olympic pool in Rio. The Wall Street Journal reports that Joe Stager, director of Indiana University’s Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming, is in charge of a group of researchers who have determined a current allowed Olympians swimming in higher-numbered lanes to swim faster during 50m races.
Here’s some of the evidence the scientists have cited:
As evidence, they note that of the eight men and eight women who swam fast enough during the 50-meter semifinals to qualify for the final, all but one swam in lanes 4 through 8. Moreover, athletes who swam in lanes 5 through 8 during preliminaries or semifinals and moved to lanes 1 through 4 for later heats got slower. They posted times about a half percent slower in the subsequent round—even though pace tends to quicken as events progress.
Of the three male and three female medalists in the 50 freestyle finals, five swam in lanes 4 through 8. The exception was American Anthony Ervin, who won the 50-free gold medal swimming in lane 3. Pernille Blume of Denmark won the women’s 50 free in lane 4.
Trevor Tiffany, chairman of the board for Myrtha Pools USA, says officials administered all the appropriate tests before and during competition at the Rio Olympics and found nothing that was of concern.
“We were required to do tests to show that there was no movement of water, and the tests were conclusive that there was no movement of water,” Tiffany said. “If we saw there was a current, we’d have done something about it. There was no indication whatsoever.”
Stager isn’t buying it.
“It’s a big deal,” he said. “This is horrific.”
The researches claim longer races showed some lane bias as well. In the 800m and 1,500m swims, athletes in lanes 1 through 3 swan up to .6 seconds slower while heading toward the starting blocks than they did swimming away from them.
Even if there was no current, this is yet another stain on a growing list of them from Rio. We’ve already seen an ugly situation unfold with boxing, and now scientists are questioning the fairness of one of the most popular Olympic sports. Not good.