Dirk Van Tichelt won the bronze medal in judo on Monday afternoon in the 161-pound division. On Monday night, a Brazilian punched him in the face.
It’s rough in Rio.
Van Tichelt celebrated his accomplishment on the beach in the Copacabana section of the city. One of the locals, perhaps inspired by the track and field events, sprinted away with the cell phone of the judoka’s friend. Another man, more partial to boxing than track, punched the Belgian bronze medalist in the eye as he gave chase. Banditry plays as a team sport.
Here, the cops stopped the Outlaw Olympics. They arrested the puncher. Van Tichelt received medical attention but not treatment for the black-and-blue to go along with his bronze.
— sporza (@sporza) August 9, 2016
It’s safer back home in Belgium than at the games in Brazil, where a stray bullet meandered into the equestrian press conference, a security guard allgedly raped a firefighter in the athletes’ village, and a marauder robbed the head of security of the Rio Olympics at knife point.
Van Tichelt merely received bruises, to his face and pride, at the Copacabana. Surely he understands that his injuries don’t begin to compare to those that befell Tony, Rico, and Lola at the Copacabana.