Aussie Paralympian Has Her Bike Stolen At Gunpoint While Training In Rio

Australian Paralympian Liesel Tesch was robbed of her bicycle at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro while on a fitness ride with her physiotherapist.

The wheelchair basketball player and sailor, who won gold in sailing at the London Paralympics, was riding when two men apprehended them and demanded money.

She told ABC News that the men pointed a gun at them while demanding they hand over their money.
He then said something else and pointed the gun at me and pushed me in the shoulder and I just toppled over with my bicycle and he just grabbed my bicycle, and the other guy was wrestling the bicycle from our team physio. And they just rode off into the park. It was absolutely horrific, I can see it clear as day in my own head … it was a pistol.

Tesch will be returning home after the incident, arriving in her hometown of Woy Woy on Wednesday. She says her team has been supportive. “Our team has been so supportive and fantastic,” she said.

“All the guys on the sailing team were … shocked and horrified. And then we reported it to the police immediately.”

Australian Sailing and the Australian Paralympic Committee have expressed their concern at the event and clarified that the safety of Australian athletes is of paramount important for them. They issued a statement reiterating this commitment:

We will continue to work with the Australian Paralympic Committee and Australian Federal Police (AFP) to ensure our team has an appropriate level of security to ensure their safety in the lead-up to, and during, both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Officials at the Australian embassy in Brazil are apparently working with local authorities and the rest of the team to provide assurance that they will be safe in the lead-up to the Games.
Source: ABC News.
Photo: Getty Images / Mark Kolbe.