A statement from the Australian Paralympic Committee
Two members of the Australian Paralympic Sailing Team have provided a statement to Brazilian police after being robbed near their hotel in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday morning (Sunday night AEST).
Both members were unharmed and took part in racing at the Paralympic sailing venue in Rio later in the day.
The pair –athlete Liesl Tesch and official Sarah Ross – were riding bikes in a park near their hotel when they were confronted by two male assailants, one of whom was carrying a pistol. The two bikes were the only property stolen.
Kate McLoughlin, Chef de Mission of the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team, said the Australian Paralympic Sailing Team was understandably shaken by the incident.
Officials from the Australian Embassy in Brasilia have since been to the Australian team’s hotel to offer assistance, and have liaised with local authorities.
“Our first priority has been to work with Australian Sailing and DFAT to ensure everyone on our Paralympic Sailing Team receives any support they may need,” McLoughlin said.
“We have also been in constant contact with members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), who we have worked very closely with during our planning process for the Rio Games.”
McLoughlin said the advice from the AFP, which has been communicated by the APC to all of its sports aiming to compete at the Games, is to always exercise a high degree of caution while travelling in Rio.
“That advice is particularly important before the Paralympic Games period,” McLoughlin said.
“We know there will be a hugely elevated level of security in place during the Paralympic Games, but for athletes and teams travelling there before the Games, there is a heightened need to be security conscious.”
By APC Media