Jimmy Feigen is an Olympic swimmer and gold medalist who claimed he was robbed at gunpoint along with Olympian Ryan Lochte in a story now under question.
A Brazilian judge, Keyla Blanc De Cnop, has ordered Feigen, 24, and Lochte to stay in Brazil and relinquish their passports. Lochte’s father says he has already returned to the U.S., but Feigen is still in Rio de Janeiro, his hometown newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Feigen insisted to the San Antonio newspaper that the men were robbed. “We were robbed at gunpoint,” he said, denying media reports that the swimmers made it up. “It sounds like people assume we’re guilty.” That interview came just minutes before an ABC reporter tweeted that Brazilian sources said the men made up the story to cover up the fight, the newspaper said, adding that Feigen also said he was “being s–t-stormed right now.”
The development came after the men sensationally claimed they were part of a group held up at gunpoint on their way back from a hospitality house at the Rio Olympics, a story that is unraveling in key ways after reports that one of them was in a fight that night at a gas station.
The New York Post now says the swimmers made up the robbery to cover up a gas station brawl caught up on video. Globo.com, a Brazilian news site, said, “According to the Civil Police, swimmers lied …According to Fernando Veloso, Civil Police Chief, athletes should apologize to Rio.’The only truth they told is that they were drunk,’ Veloso said.”
“No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed,” Veloso said during an afternoon news conference, said Chicago Tribune. However, police now say security guards at the gas station did pull guns on the swimmers when they tried to break into a bathroom. The Tribune quoted Veloso as saying security guards were justified in pulling weapons on the summers who were large and strong men who “were conducting themselves in a violent way.”
“The swim team moved out of the village after their competition ended, so we were not able to make the athletes available,” the U.S. Olympic Committee said in a statement, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Judge Has Raised Questions About The Swimmers’ Story & a Video Shows a Gas Station Fight, Reports Say
According to NBC, the Brazilian judge said “Lochte and Feigen gave contradictory accounts of the robbery, according to the court’s statement.”
NBC said the judge’s filing contended that Lochte described one robber but Feigen said there were more, but only one with a gun. The judge also cited the men’s “attitude” on a surveillance camera after the purported heist.
The judge also wrote that there “were questions about a gap between when the swimmers said they left France House and arrived at the athletes’ village,” said USA Today.
ABC News says, according to a Brazilian police source, “one of the swimmers was seen on CCTV footage breaking down the door to the bathroom at the gas station and fighting with a security guard” that night. Lochte had told NBC’s Matt Lauer that the men were robbed after using a restroom at the gas station, said ABC.
Rio federal police have recommended that Lochte and Feigen face charges of false reporting of a crime, but sources close to the swimmers insisted to ABC News that the swimmers were held up by gunman until they gave money.
Feigen has reached a deal to pay $11,000 to leave Rio, said NBC.
2. The Men Were Seen Joking in a Surveillance Video After The Purported Robbery
In her filing, the Brazilian judge also said she had watched surveillance video of the swimmers returned to the athletes’ village and said “They arrived with their psychological and physical integrity unshaken,” according to USA Today.
The newspaper said the judge noted “that the swimmers appeared to be joking with each other and did not appear to be upset.”
The UK Daily Mail has published a copy of the surveillance video. You can see it here.
The Los Angeles Times said “Lochte and Feigen, along with teammates Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, said they were robbed of cash and personal items by individuals posing as police officers during a taxi ride from France’s hospitality venue to the Olympic Village early Sunday morning. Local police said they haven’t found any evidence of a crime.”
3. Feigen Is a Silver Medalist From Texas & Wants to be an Orthopedic Surgeon
Feigen’s team bio says he was born in Hawaii but his home town is in San Antonio, Texas.
Rio was his second Olympics. He won a silver medal in 2012.
The San Antonio Express-News describes him as “a former University of Texas and Churchill High School (San Antonio) standout.”
His Twitter page says: “2012 Olympian 2013 World Championship Silver Medalist in 100 Free and 4×100 Free Relay yada yada yada my real passion is SCRABBLE/ HANGMAN.”
4. Feigen Started Swimming at Age Five & Plays Paintball As a Hobby
His Olympic biography says Feigen started swimming at age 5 because “his mother wanted all the kids to be watersafe and able to swim since they have always lived near water.”
He described his mother as his life’s most important influence, saying, “She is a hard worker and has taught me to persevere through the most difficult times of my life.”
His hobbies were described as “X-box, Halo, paintball.”
Feigen said in the biography that he likes Long Island, London, the singer TI, long trips to the beach, Sports Illustrated and the Harry Potter books.
5. Feigen Will Bring Home a Gold Medal From Rio & Participated in a Lengthy Forum on Reddit
KXAN said Feigen earned a gold medal as part of the 4X100 freestyle relay final on Sunday night in Rio, even though he “wasn’t part of the thrilling 4×100 freestyle relay final.”
He still gets the gold because “Feigen swam the leadoff leg of the Sunday morning prelims and then that team gave way to four fresh swimmers led by Michael Phelps,” said the station, noting that Feigen was planning to retire after the Rio Olympics and move to Austin.
NBC said Feigen “took to the social forum site Reddit and invited fans to ‘ask me anything.'” He spoke about everything from relationships to the Olympic food, saying, “The food has been my only major gripe about the village. Cooking for 10,000 must have some difficulties but the London food was much better.”
He even answered one question about whether there was a lot of sex in the Olympic Village, saying, “No, Unfortunately those experiences are blown out of proportion. Access to condoms is easy and many athletes take them, but I’m not sure of how many actually get used. People mostly focus on their events rather than getting laid. Once the games are over the party begins! That is outside the village though.”
He said he was rooming with both Michael Phelps and Lochte in Rio.
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