The Rio Olympics went off with a bang on the eve of the opening ceremonies.
A man initially described by Brazilian authorities as a Russian diplomat killed a would-be robber with the assailant’s own gun on Thursday near the city’s Olympic Park. The decedent smashed the man’s window in an alleged robbery attempt. The prey-turned-predator reportedly struggled with the man, used jiu-jitsu to pull the assailant into the car, and then secured the thief’s own gun, which he used to shoot his attacker.
An accomplice allegedly fled on a motorbike. Such attacks occasionally occur in traffic in the city.
Lending to the James Bond, nay, the Colonel Klebb quality of the incident, the Russians say “no representative of the Russian consulate general in Rio de Janeiro was involved in an attempted assault ending with the death of the suspect.” The victor in the deadly skirmish reportedly comes from Rio and bears a name sounding a lot more Brazilian than Russian. But the Brazilian cops initially called the man the “vice counsel” of the Russian embassy. Subsequently, in an about-face, the Brazilian authorities said the man presented false identification representing himself as the embassy’s “vice counsel.”
Diga o que?
The Russians endure an excruciating Olympics even before the torch in Maracanã Stadium lights up. The International Olympic Committee banned their entire track and field team for doping violations. Russian weightlifters similarly watch on television rather than compete. Several individual competitors in aquatic events also cannot compete. The country’s most high-profile athlete hoping to go for gold in Rio, Maria Sharapova, saw her dream of improving on her silver medal from 2012 derailed when the World Anti-Doping Agency banned her for meldonium use earlier this year.
More than a quarter of the Russian Olympic team received bans from participating in the summer games.