The men were unharmed but robbed of a wallet, their phones and a team blazer.
Less than 48 hours after the torch was lit to kick off the 2016 Rio Olympics, unfortunate headlines continue to surround Rio de Janeiro.
Two Australian rowing coaches were allegedly robbed Friday night while walking back to their hotel, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Tancred told the newspaper that the male coaches were walking a short distance to their hotel after the team’s informal opening ceremony on Ipanema Beach Friday night when they were approached by two teenagers with knives.
“They were yelling, intimidating with the use of their voice and of course the knife, about an eight-inch knife, was enough to scare the pants off anyone really,” Greg Nance, the deputy director of welfare for the Australian Olympic team, told .
According to NBC News, an Australian reporter tweeted that one of the coaches was grabbed by the throat by a robber.
The Australians were unharmed, but they were forced to hand over a wallet, their phones and one of their teams blazers, which one coach was holding over his arm.
“They didn’t resist, they complied and handed everything over,” Tancred told the Sydney Morning Herald.
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Despite the frightening encounter, it is believed that the officials were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I do believe though the circumstances look like a very opportunistic crime,” Nance told ABC. “For a brief few minutes our guys were the only people in the street, and it’s very dark and they got caught out by these two fellows lurking there.”
The attack was initially kept under wraps by Australian officials, as they didn’t wish to disrupt the team’s focus on the first day of the competition.
The Australians have been the target of numerous crimes since arriving in Rio. Before the Games started, Paralympian Liesl Tesch was robbed at gunpoint and Australia’s team reported a theft in the Olympic Village after their building was evacuated due to a fire alarm.
Tancred called for Olympic officials to improve their security following Friday’s robbery.
“The host city has a responsibility to protect all the athletes and officials,” he said. “They need to lift their game.”
To learn more about all Olympic hopefuls, visit teamusa.org. The Rio Olympics begin Friday on NBC.