Australian Olympic team demands security after Rio paralympian mugged

(CNN)Australian Olympic authorities say they want greater security for athletes in Rio immediately, after a gold-medal winning paralympian was mugged in the city at gunpoint.

Six-time Australian Paralympics athlete 47-year-old Liesl Tesch had her bike stolen at a bus stop near her hotel on Sunday morning by two men, who threatened her and sailing team member Sarah Ross with a pistol.
    In a statement Tuesday, Australian Olympic team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said the mugging was a “major concern” and called for extra police and security for athletes.
    “The Paralympic sailors were confronted by the men in broad daylight, it was 7.30 in the morning, and right near their accommodation. There were people around but no-one came to their assistance,” she said.




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    Athlete ‘shaken’ by robbery

    The Australian Paralympic Committee released a statement on Monday which said both women were unharmed but shaken after the robbery, which they had reported to the police.
    Speaking to Australia’s Nine Network, Tesch described how she was pushed to the ground by the gunmen who then rode off on her bike.
    “The guy in front of me, I think he said ‘diner.’ I speak sort of Spanish, so I pulled up my shirt and showed him I had no money. Then he said something else, I don’t know what, and he lifted the gun up towards me,” she said.
    Tesch, who became an incomplete paraplegic at the age of 19 after a mountain bike accident, won a gold medal in Mixed Two Person Sailing at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
    She also won two silver medals and a bronze medal in wheelchair basketball at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Games.
    The Committee’s Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin said in a statement the Australian Federal Police had advised their athletes to exercise a high degree of caution while traveling in Rio.
    “That advice is particularly important before the Paralympic Games period,” she said. “We know there will be a hugely elevated level of security in place during the Paralympic Games but, for athletes and teams traveling there before the Games, there is a heightened need to be security conscious.”


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