There’s a new must-visit landmark for tourists in Rio de Janeiro.
The gas station at which U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte last week reported he was robbed at gun point, and where, he later admitted, he was actually involved in an alcohol-fueled bout of bathroom vandalism, is now a legitimate tourist attraction.
The Brazil-based tourism company Rio Intrepid Urban Adventures has launched a new tour called “Relive Rio: Ode to U.S. Gold.” The eight-hour guided trek leads visitors to Rio Arena, where the Final Five gymnastics team won gold, the Parque Aquatico, in which Michael Phelps made (even more) Olympic history, and the favela shantytowns, which, the company’s site notes, were a highlight for basketball player Carmelo Anthony.
But the full-day tour’s strangest attraction is definitely the Auto Posto Jardim Oceanico da Barra, which the agenda identifies is “better known as the controversial gas station where the U.S. swimmers made a late-night stop.”
“So far booking inquiries and potential tour-goers are intrigued and positive to visit spots where this year’s Olympians made history and visited themselves. Even the infamous gas station,” says Luiz Malcher, director of Rio Intrepid Urban Adventures. “There is no negative reaction from the owner as the tour brings customers similar to any regular visitor in need of a water or bathroom break.”
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And what exactly can tour goers expect to see? “We will lead the group through the same route the swimmers took,” says Malcher, “and where they were taken to sit down, which is what most viewers will remember from the news clips.”
Any travelers with qualms about visiting a crime scene in a city with a reputation for being unsafe needn’t fear this destination.
Malcher explains that the gas station is located between two popular tourist areas, Ipanema and Copacabana, and near to the Olympic Park venue. “It is not a dangerous area at all,” he says. “Barra da Tijuca area is the most modern and developed neighborhood in Rio.”
The tour company is not alone in finding a silver lining in the unsettling news story: Though Lochte has lost several sponsorships following his admission, a source tells PEOPLE he is now being considered for season 23 of Dancing with the Stars.