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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ethiopia: 'The Blood Flowing in Oromia Is Our Blood Too' - Why Oromo-Amhara Solidarity Is the Greatest Threat to the Ethiopian Government

Photo: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters Media Express
For decades, the ruling party has governed by pitting the Oromo and Amhara against one another. Now the two groups are joining forces against the government. "There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen," said Lenin, describing the Bolshevik revolution. For Ethiopia, the start of August 2016 saw such a week - one that will go down in Ethiopian history as a moment in which a grassroots movement achieved in days what organised elites have not been able to achieve in two decades.
In that week, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in unprecedented numbers to protest against decades of abuse, discrimination, and marginalisation. This was the culmination of a wave of protests that began nearly ten months ago and has since continued in Amhara and Oromia, two of the country's most populous regions.

The government responded by dismissing the protesters as agents of foreign forces directed from Eritrea and Egypt, and it deployed armed forced into civilian centres, leading to the deaths of over 600 people, according to estimates, and the arrests of many more. Despite this disproportionate and excessive force, however, protests and strikes have endured, with a movement of movements mobilising a new generation, tapping into a groundswell of shared discontent. At the heart of this activism is a burgeoning solidarity between the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups, who make up around two-thirds of the country's population combined and have begun to come together despite longstanding historical differences.

This convergence has alarmed the government, but how far can collective action based on shared grievances rather than a coherent set of shared ideals and visions go?

Divide and rule

Ethiopia is an assemblage of diverse ethnic and cultural groups. But historically, up to around the 1970s, 'Greater Ethiopia' pursued a policy of ethnic homogenisation in which Amhara identity became the identity par excellence, pushing others to the periphery. In particular, the Oromos, the country's largest ethno-national group, were not treated as equal partners and did not have influence commensurate with their demographic, geographic, and economic contribution. These asymmetries helped fuel the historic antagonism between the two groups. 

Since coming to power in 1991, the current government - led by the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) - has instrumentalised this rivalry as a political weapon. It has created a governing narrative in which Amharas and Oromos are eternal adversaries, representing an existential threat to the future of the Ethiopian state and stability of the region. Oromos are framed as secessionists who represent a clear and present danger to the unity and sovereignty of Ethiopia, while the Amharas are presented as chauvinist and violent, working towards the resurrection and re-imposition of the old Medieval-type empire. Within this narrative frame, the ruling party, dominated by ethnic Tigrayan elites, becomes a beacon of stability and unity in diversity.

"The blood flowing in Oromia is our blood too"

For 25 years, the ruling party has relied on these myths to sow the seeds of division. But this is now beginning to unravel. The violent response of the ruling party to both the Amhara and Oromo protests has brought into sharp focus the shared vulnerability of the oppressed in Ethiopia. The mutual experience of loss and suffering has generated intense collective emotions, exposing the porous nature of the faultlines that both divide and unite the two communities.

As the violence of the state has intensified, former arch-foes have set aside their mutual rivalry to congregate and endure with one another. An extraordinary groundswell of solidarity is emerging at all levels, exposing the shaky foundation of the regime. "We are all Oromos", "I am not Oromo but I stand with my Oromo brothers", "Amhara is ours, Oromo is ours", "The blood flowing in Oromia is our blood too" are just some of the many expressions of solidarity declared at rallies. 

These are not just words, but actions that exist as words, actions that threaten to unsettle the myths that hold together the ideological edifice of the system. They are words that go beyond the repressive and divisive discourses of the state to create conditions for a collective politics and new forms of alliances. They are gestures that seek to imagine a different kind of world.

At the same time, Oromo and Amhara protestors have also begun to hold solidarity rallies together, flying their respective flags - both symbols of resistance - alongside one another. No collective action is more destabilising to the narrative of the state than the joint appearance of these two symbols, which entered the country's political imagination as antithetical and irreconcilable.

A regime that seemed invincible has begun to tremble at this sight, with officials expressing their disgust and fury at these two symbols of resistance being presented together. For instance, Government Communications Minister Getachew Reda expressed his outrage at the alliance between Oromos and Amharas and his government's determination to destroy it, describing it as "unholy" and a "gamble".

Dilemmas of unity

While politically significant, however, the solidarity we are currently seeing is not based on a shared vision so much as shared grievances. Oromo and Amhara elites have been at an impasse in discussions for the last two decades and have not been able to build up mutual trust to confront contentious issues of historical and political significance.

While mainstream Amhara politicians insist on national unity as a condition for collaboration, Oromo nationalists reject these demands on the basis that there is not yet a shared set of democratic values, principles and ideals that could 'unite' the two groups. They insist that any values that are shared between the groups did not emerge out of a relationship of equality and therefore should not be the starting point for a new vision.

This lack of consensus may seem like a weakness, but it is crucial to note that these long-standing historical disagreements do not need to be definitively resolved in order for the two groups to come together to chart the best route for the future. In fact, the arduous task of coming to terms with a contested past requires a robust and inclusive debate that can only happen within a democratic state capable of reconciling social conflicts according to shared rules.

However, to create this democratic platform, the Ethiopian people must first be released from the weight of oppression imposed by Tigrean elites. And neither Oromos nor Amharas need surrender their identities to pursue this goal. In fact, in multi-ethnic countries like Ethiopia where identities are co-opted by the powers that be, those same identities become the very crucibles that provide the energy and passion for the struggle.
Solidarity is not about oneness, but building cross-cultural understanding, tolerance, respect and acceptance of differences. Accordingly then, Oromos and Amharas are increasingly accepting solidarity, not unity, as the principle underpinning their collective actions.

Contrary to some fears, there is great strength in these weak ties, and this emerging solidarity - incipient and precarious as it is - represents the greatest threat to the regime's long-standing policy of divide and rule.

Source: All

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Wadau wanavyosaka dawa michezo kuporomoka

Waziri Nape Nnauye alifungua rasmi kongamano hilo jana - Kibaha
KWA miaka mingi Tanzania imekuwa ikifanya vibaya katika michezo mbalimbali kimataifa na kuifanya kutowika tena licha ya huko nyuma kung’ara. Kuanzia soka, riadha, ngumi, baiskeli, netiboli, mpira wa mikono na michezo mingine kibao, huko nyuma ilikuwa ikifanya vizuri, lakini sasa hakuna kitu.

Kutokana na kuchemsha huko katika michezo mbalimbali, Kamati ya Olimpiki Tanzania (TOC) kwa siku mbili (jana na leo), imeamua kuendesha kongamano la kujadili michezo kutafuta dawa ya gonjwa hilo.
Kongamano la Michezo Kongamano hilo la aina yake ambalo linamalizika leo katika shule za Filbert Bayi, Mkuza Kibaha, mkoani Pwani kwa siku mbili linajadili matatizo na nini kifanyike ili kuirejesha Tanzania katika mafanikio ya huko nyuma, ambako ilifanya vizuri katika michezo.

Mara nyingi timu zetu zinaposhiriki mashindano ya kimataifa na kurudi nyumbani mikono mitupu, wadau wengi wamekuwa wakizinyooshea vidole bila ya kutoa suluhisho la nini kifanyike ili kufanya vizuri.
Kila mtu amekuwa akilaumu hata yule ambaye hana mchango wowote katika maendeleo ya michezo hapa nchini au kutosaidia kuchangia chochote katika michezo, lakini ndio huwa wa kwanza kuchonga.

Wadau pia wamekuwa wakilaumu wachezaji, vyama au mashirikisho ya mchezo husika, TOC, Baraza la Michezo Tanzania (BMT) pamoja na wizara inayohusika na michezo pale timu zetu zinapochemsha katika michezo ya kimataifa wakati majirani zetu wakifanya vizuri.

Maeneo muhimu sana Baadhi ya vitu ambavyo jana na leo vilikuwa vikijadiliwa na baadaye kupatiwa ufumbuzi ni pamoja na sababu za kuanguka kwa michezo nchini na nini kifanyike ili kuliondoa hilo. Umuhimu wa kuwepo kwa sera ya taifa ya michezo, jukumu la Serikali katika kusaidia na kuhamasisha michezo na ujengwaji wa kituo cha michezo.

Kuifanya michezo kuvutia zaidi wanawake na kuwa sehemu salama kwa jinsi hiyo. Umuhimu wa vituo vya mazoezi na michezo, vyuo vya michezo na maendeleo ya michezo hapa nchini kwa ujumla.
Kuangalia fursa za kibiashara katika michezo, hasa kuangalia jinsi sekta binafsi na zile za umma zinavyoweza kusaidia michezo kwa njia moja au nyingine. Sababu kuporomoka michezo Katibu Mkuu wa Kamati ya Olimpiki Tanzania (TOC), Filbert Bayi anasema kuwa lengo na kongamano hilo ni kujadili tulikotoka, tuliko na tunakokwenda katika michezo.

Tathmini ya Kamati ya Olimpiki Tanzania ni kwamba baadhi ya Vyama/Mashirikisho ya michezo baadhi yao sio hai kwa maana ya:- Kutofanya uchaguzi kwa muda mrefu kwa kuzingatia Katiba zao, kutokuwa na viongozi halali, kutofanya au kuandaa Mashindano ya Kitaifa au kushiriki Kimataifa.

Sababu nyingine ni kutolipa ada ya Chama/Shiriisho lao la Bara na Dunia. Mafanikio ya nyuma Tanzania ilifanya vizuri katika Michezo ya Olimpiki iliyofanyika Moscow, Urusi mwaka 1980 wakati Filbert Bayi na Suleiman Nyambui walipomaliza katika nafasi ya tatu katika mbio za meta 3,000 kuruka viunzi na maji na meta 5,000. Mbali na Olimpiki, Tanzania pia ilivuma sana katika Michezo ya Jumuiya ya Madola kwa kutwaa medali hadi za dhahabu katika michezo ya riadha na ngumi.

Na wanariadha kama akina Juma Ikangaa pamoja na kutotwaa medali katika Michezo ya Olimpiki, lakini alifanya vizuri mara mbili kwa kumaliza mbio za marathon ndani ya 10 bora, Mfano mwaka 1984 wakati wa Michezo ya Olimpiki iliyofanyika Los Angeles, Marekani Ikangaa alimaliza katika nafasi ya sita.

Mwaka 1988 Ikangaa alishiriki Michezo ya Olimpiki iliyofanyika Seoul, Korea ya Kusini na kumaliza katika nafasi ya saba. Tangu wakati huo hadi mwaka huu katika Michezo ya Olimpiki ya Rio 2016, Brazil, Alphonce Simbu aliweza kumaliza wa tano katika marathon.

Timu ya taifa ya soka, Taifa Stars, nayo iliwika katika soka la Afrika baada ya kufuzu katika fainali za mwaka 1980 zilipochezwa jijini Lagos, Nigeria. Lakini miaka ilivyozidi kwenda ndio nchi yetu imezidi kuporomoka kimichezo badala ya kupanda.

Source: Habarileo

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ted Banks, legendary UTEP track and field coach, dead at 82

Ted Banks (Theodore Banks) was perhaps the most controversial but successful Track & Field Coach in America
EL PASO, Texas -
Published On: Aug 26 2016 12:57:27 PM CDT   
Ted Banks, who led the UTEP men's track & field and cross country teams to a combined 17 national titles, passed away at his home in Gunter, Texas Thursday night, said Jeff Darby with the University of Texas at El Paso.
Banks was 82 years old. He led the UTEP men's track and field and cross country teams from 1972 to 1981.
"Ted Banks was one of the most successful cross country and track coaches in NCAA history," said UTEP track & field coach Mika Laaksonen.  "His tenure at UTEP is unmatched with achievement by any other coach."

"He was at the forefront of track and field coaches when he was here at UTEP and certainly determined the direction that we took in distance running in this country," said former UTEP coach Bob Kitchens.  "He was an exceptional coach.  He is the history of this program."

Banks was a member of UTEP's initial Athletic Hall of Fame induction class in 2002.
He was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000.
His stint at UTEP also produced 47 NCAA individual champions, 189 All-Americans, 27 Western Athletic Conference men’s team titles (six outdoor track & field, eight indoor track & field, nine cross country) and 152 WAC individual champions.

 Banks is survived by his wife Judy; his children Jennifer, Ted and Tom; and two grandchildren, Hunter and Jade Nix. Hunter Nix played football at UTEP from 2011-13.

Source: KVIA

NB: Ted Banks means more than just a coach to me, he is my American Father.

By Gidabuday


Monday, August 22, 2016

Rio Olympics 2016: Spectacular closing ceremony as Olympic flag goes to Tokyo

The Rio Olympics ended with a spectacular carnival-inspired closing ceremony, and the official handover to 2020 hosts Tokyo
The colourful ceremony, lasting almost three hours, celebrated Brazil's arts and was held in a wet Maracana.
Among the highlights were Tokyo's impressive showcase and a vibrant carnival parade.
"These were a marvellous Olympics, in a marvellous city," said International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach.
"Over the last 16 days a united Brazil inspired the world, in difficult times for all of us, with its irresistible joy for life."
Bach officially closed the Games of the 31st Olympiad after 16 days of competition, featuring 11,303 athletes from 206 nations and a refugee team.
One of the biggest cheers of the night came when Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared dressed as computer game character Super Mario, rising out of a huge green pipe in the stadium.
The ceremony, watched by billions around the world, featured the parade of athletes and a dramatic extinguishing of the Olympic flame.
Women's hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh carried the flag for Great Britain, who finished the Games with 67 medals - their highest tally at an overseas Olympics.
Super-heavyweight boxer Joe Joyce had earlier won Britain's final medal of Rio 2016 - a silver - as they finished second in the medal table to the United States,ahead of China.

What happened?

  • The Maracana was turned into a street carnival as the ceremony celebrated Brazil's art, music and dance.
  • Highlights included human formations of iconic Rio landmarks Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.
  • The Olympic flame was extinguished by a rain shower, which then gave life to a large tree sculpture to symbolise rebirth.
  • The Rio carnival anthem 'Cidade Maravilhosa' played as the party reached a crescendo.
  • Brazilian model Izabel Goulart led a parade of 50 women and 200 dancers, who were joined by a sound truck containing 12 carnival queens.
  • The ceremony concluded with a confetti and firework show.

Rio Olympics: Brazil win men's volleyball gold, GB's Joyce takes boxing silver – as it happened

Just look at his face: Bruno Mossa de Rezende (left) after Brazil claimed gold in the men’s volleyball final. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil did not win a lot of medals; but Brazil hosted the first ever Summer Olympic Games in South America, western countries criticized all efforts put up by South American supper power but they did not bother listening instead they did all they could and today they finished strong.

Thanks Rio, thanks Brazil. We hope that some day African Continent will rewrite history to host the first ever Summer Olympic Games. wishes all Olympic travelers a safe flight out bounding to their home countries. See you in Tokyo Olympics 2020, god bless Olympics Games.

By Wilhelm Francis Gidabuday


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rio Olympics: Tanzania's Alphonce Felix Simbu missed the medal clinching 5th place

Alphonce Felix Simbu of Tanzania celebrates his 5th place finish 

Alphonce Felix Simbu is one of the three marathon athletes from Tanzania who competed in today’s Olympic Marathon in Rio de Janeiro, he ran a smart race from the beginning.

He maintained negative splits serving his energy for the last; he kept himself at the back of first group full of determined athletes to the half way. Said Makula and Fabian Joseph were also present.

The young Tanzanian placed 24th right after the half way, the group surges for breakaway, Mr. Simbu did not bother but kept his negative splits instead. At the 35 kilometers mark he moved up to 11th place beating up those who surged with the first group.

He suddenly gained momentum moving up to 8th place and finally compromised 5th place at the finish line. 

The 5th place finish was historical; Tanzania has had only two bronze medals from Fibert Bayi and Suleiman Nyambui in the Stipple Chase and 5000 meters in 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Rio Olympics Marathon Medalists;

(          Gold - Eliud Kipchoge – Kenya
           Silver -Feyisa Lilesa – Ethiopia
           Bronze - Galen Rupp – United States

Rio Olympics: Tanzania awaits today as Olympic Marathon kicks-off in Rio

Rio Olympic Games are about to end but for Tanzanians the game is just about to start, that’s because the strongest Tanzania team was in the marathon event out of 28 other sports of which we needed to have competitors but we couldn’t do so!

Sara Ramadhani competed last Sunday and performed bad, today we have Alphonce Felix Simbu, Said Juma Makula and Fabian Joseph Naasi.
Alphonce Felix Simbu


DOB: February 14th 1992 (age 24)
Place of Birth: Mampando Village, Ikungi - Singida
School: Winning Spirit Secondary School
Highest Participation: 2015 World Championships - Beijing
Said Juma Makula
Personal Best: 2:09:19 – Lake Biwa Marathon 2016

DOB: August 1st 1994
Place of Birth: Kisuki Village - Singida
School: Kisaki Primary School
Fabian Joseph Naasi
Highest Participation: 2016 Daegu Marathon – South Korea
Personal Best: 2:12:01 – Daegu Marathon 2016

DOB: December 24th 1985
Place of Birth: Babati District - Manyara
School: Winning Spirit Secondary School
World Tittle: 2005 World Half Marathon Champion – Edmonton Canada
Highest Participation: 2004 / 2008 Olympic Games

Perhaps even before our convoy lined up in the streets of Rio de Janeiro later today; we should ask ourselves one or two questions;

(   How comes National Sports Council of Tanzania (NSC) is silent to the fact that other sports associations are not working hard to have their competitors attain qualification standards to compete at the Olympic Games?

(   How comes the media and critics are always ready to shower blames to Athletics Tanzania (AT) while AT has always been able to deliver our flag to the Olympic Village since 1964 Tokyo Olympics?

(   How comes the budget allocated to the Ministry involved with Sports is always smaller than what the government want sports men and women to deliver back from the largest sports arenas?

    Stay tuned ......

Rio Olympics 2016: Great Britain's Mo Farah wins 5,000m & 10,000m 'double double'

Great Britain's Mo Farah won his fourth Olympic gold medal as he became only the second man in history to retain the 5,000m and 10,000m titles.
The 33-year-old triumphed in the 5,000m final in Rio to extend his tally as Britain's most successful Olympic track and field athlete of all time.
Farah won in 13 minutes 3.30 seconds as Scot Andrew Butchart finished sixth.
"It shows I didn't just fluke it in London. To do it again is incredible. I can't believe it," said Farah.
Farah's was Britain's 27th gold in Rio and their 65th medal, matching the haul at London 2012.
They surpassed that tally when the women's 4x400m relay team won bronze in the penultimate track event of the Games.

More history for Mo

Farah cemented his place as one of Britain's greatest athletes with his double success four years ago, but repeating the feat makes him the world's most successful distance runner in terms of major medals.
"My legs were a bit tired after the 10k. I don't now how I recovered," he told BBC Sport.
"I wished for just one medal as a junior. It has been a long journey but if you dream of something, have ambitions and are willing to work hard then you can get your dreams."
Somalia-born Londoner Farah is now a nine-time global champion, moving him above Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele.
He matched the feat of Finland's Lasse Viren, who completed the long-distance double at the Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 Olympics.
Farah had already achieved the World Championships 'double double', successfully defending his 10,000m and 5,000m titles in Beijing last year.


Brendan Foster, Olympic medallist and BBC athletics commentator:
"What a moment. What a fantastic performance. What a privilege to see this man collect a fourth Olympic medal in style. He did it the only way he knows how.
"Mo, you are a treasure. You are more than a national treasure. You are the greatest we have ever had and one of the greatest distance runners we have ever seen."
Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic medallist and BBC analyst:
"Everyone works hard, but it is also about working smart, finding the things that will really make those marginal gains, assessing and diagnosing what areas can improve.
"What else makes Mo special is his race intelligence and ability to show up on the day and deliver the performance he is capable of. He has done that time and time again."
Paula Radcliffe, women's marathon world record holder:
"Mo does not believe he will be beaten. He sees no reason why he can't be competitive in every race he competes in."
Denise Lewis, BBC Sport athletics expert:
"It has been a privilege to see how he has progressed from that junior athlete who did not quite make it to this amazing athlete. But the decisions he has made over the last few years, to move to America and do what is needed to achieve success, shows how absolutely committed he is."
Mike Costello, BBC athletics correspondent:
"For the first time out of all his finals I've covered I didn't think he was going to win. It is astonishing he still had something in reserve. He ran the last of his 50 laps in Rio in 52 seconds. That's incredible."

Saturday, August 20, 2016

2016 Olympics: U.S. loses appeal of disqualification in men's relay

Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin and Mike Rodgers of the U.S. 400-meter relay team. (Peter Klaunzer / EPA)
USA Track and Field’s appeal of the disqualification of the men’s 400-meter relay team has been denied, according to several reports.
The U.S. quartet finished third in the final on Friday but soon afterward was disqualified because of a faulty baton exchange between leadoff runner Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin in which Rodgers passed it too early. Jamaica won, followed by Japan. Canada, which had finished fourth, was elevated to third following the U.S. disqualification.  
U.S. officials filed a protest with the Jury of Appeals of the International Assn. of Athletics Federations. The rejection of the appeal was first reported by Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated, who cited an official of the IAAF as saying all protests and appeals were rejected, leaving all results to stand. Associated Press also reported the protest had been rejected. 

Los Angeles Times

Rio Olympics 2016: GB's Nicola Adams wins flyweight gold again

Nicola Adams become the first woman to defend an Olympic 

Nicola Adams became the first British boxer to retain an Olympic title for 92 years by winning gold in the women's flyweight final at Rio 2016.
The 33-year-old won a unanimous points decision to beat France's Sarah Ourahmoune.
Britain have now won 26 golds in Brazil and 63 medals overall, two short of the record 65 won at London 2012.
It is GB's first gold boxing medal in Rio, though super-heavyweight Joe Joyce could add another (Sunday, 19:15 BST).
"The gold rush continues," Adams told the BBC. "I'm now officially the most accomplished amateur boxer Great Britain has ever had. I can't believe it."
Adams, from Leeds, has won Olympic, European and Commonwealth golds and now becomes the first Briton to defend her Olympic crown since middleweight Harry Mallin in 1924.
She started strongly against the 15th-ranked Ourahmoune, winning the first of four two-minute rounds on all three judges' scorecard.
She improved further in the second, again winning across the board after pinning back her opponent with speed and accuracy.
Ourahmoune, who won bronze at this year's World Championships, battled back to take the third and also produced a spirited performance in the final round.
Both boxers celebrated at the final bell, but it was Adams whose arm was raised in victory after again impressing all three judges.


Anthony Joshua, 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist on BBC TV:
"Nicky was counter punching and being patient, picking her shots wisely.
"No fight in an Olympic final is easy. The margins aren't far apart, they are two elite boxers and it was a very good fight."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Rio Olympics: Swimmer Lochte apologises for 'robbery' saga

Ryan Lochte's claims prompted a spoof poster to be displayed at the athletics stadium
US swimmer Ryan Lochte has apologised for his behaviour in Rio and "for not being more careful and candid".
The gold medallist had claimed that he and a group of fellow US swimmers had been robbed at a petrol station.
But CCTV footage contradicted that story, showing the men had vandalised the petrol station after partying.
Mr Lochte tweeted: "I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that I am sorry."
He said he had waited to issue the statement until it was clear that his teammates would be returning to the US.
Rio's Mayor, Eduardo Paes, accepted the Americans' apologies:
"I confess that my only emotion towards them is pity and contempt," he said.
"It's a shame that they're such weak characters, that they have such personality flaws and it's up to the American Olympic Committee to sort it out."
Mr Lochte had already left Brazil when the saga blew up but two other swimmers. Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were pulled off a flight in Rio and questioned by police over their version of events before being allowed to leave.
Their teammate Jimmy Feigen was briefly detained and has now agreed to pay nearly $11,000 (£8,416) to a Brazilian charity over his involvement in the dispute.
Mr Lochte, 32, wrote:
"It's traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country - with a language barrier - and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave....
"I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided.
"I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons."
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has since apologised to Brazil.
"The behaviour of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members," a USOC statement said.
"We apologise to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence.
The saga began when Mr Lochte's mother told US media that her son had been robbed.
The swimmer then expanded on the story, describing in an interview how he and three fellow US swimmers were robbed at gunpoint while returning from a club.
He also tweeted that he and his teammates were the victims of a robbery.
Rio police only became involved after seeing reports, and soon said there were inconsistencies in the men's accounts.
On Thursday the head of Rio's civil police, Fernando Veloso, said no robbery was committed against the athletes.
"They were not victims of the crimes they claimed," Mr Veloso said.
He told reporters that one or more of the athletes had instead vandalised a toilet in a petrol station and then offered to pay for the damage.
The Americans paid and left after armed security guards intervened, he said.
One guard had justifiably drawn his gun after one of the swimmers began behaving erratically, Mr Veloso added.

Olympics 2016: Usain Bolt completes sprint double, Jade Jones retains taekwondo title

Bolt's 19.78 seconds is his slowest winning time in an Olympic 200m final
Usain Bolt completed a Rio 2016 sprint double by winning the 200m as Jade Jones took Great Britain's gold-medal tally to 22 with taekwondo success.
Bolt's eighth Olympic title came in a time of 19.78 seconds, and the Ja
maican has one final chance to win gold in Friday's 4x100m relay final.
Jones, meanwhile, beat Eva Calvo Gomez to win taekwondo's -57kg division.
With three days remaining, Britain are just nine medals short of the record 65 they secured in London four years ago.
They got off to a great start on day 13 as Alistair Brownlee and brother Jonny won gold and silver respectively in the triathlon, and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark triumphed in the sailing.
Elsewhere, Liam Heath and Jon Schofield won silver in the men's 200m kayak double, and Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge took bronze in badminton's men's doubles.
Nicola Adams reached the women's flyweight final as she attempts to become the first British boxer to retain an Olympic title for 92 years.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics: US swimmers 'invented robbery story'

Ryan Lochte said a man robbed him at gunpoint while returning in a taxi to the Olympic village
US Olympic swimmers in Rio de Janeiro invented a story about a robbery in an effort to disguise a dispute over a damaged petrol station door, police sources have told the BBC.
One of the athletes broke the door to the bathroom and a row ensued when attendants asked the Americans to pay for the damage, they said.
After security guards were called in, the Americans reportedly paid and left.
Three of the swimmers remain in Brazil and are due to be questioned by police.
The fourth, gold medallist Ryan Lochte, returned to the US on Monday.
Before it emerged that Mr Lochte had left Brazil, a judge ordered that the four have their passports confiscated pending further police questioning, amid reports of inconsistencies in the men's accounts of the alleged robbery.
Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were taken off a US-bound plane at Rio de Janeiro airport on Wednesday night and were seen entering a Rio police station for questioning on Thursday afternoon. Team-mate James Feigen has also remained in Brazil.
Our correspondent says the swimmers - who have repeatedly changed their accounts of what happened - could be charged with falsely communicating a crime.

What is said to have happened?

The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro told the BBC's Wyre Davies that at about 06:00 (09:00 GMT) on Sunday, the four men had arrived by taxi at a petrol station in Barra da Tijuca, 16km (10 miles) from the Olympic Park.
One of the athletes broke the door to the bathroom, the police said, and petrol station attendants asked the Americans to pay for the damage.
A verbal dispute is said to have ensued with the attendants, and security guards were called to contain the incident. The police were also called.
While police were on their way, another customer at the petrol station served as interpreter for the athletes and helped agree payment for the damage.
When police arrived, the athletes had already gone after paying for the broken door, and they returned to the Olympic Village.
Video from CCTV appears to show the athletes being detained and ordered to sit on the ground.

What have the swimmers said?

Mr Lochte admitted on Wednesday to some inaccuracies in his original account of being robbed at gunpoint in the early hours of Sunday, but vehemently denied making the story up.
"I wouldn't make up a story like this nor would the others - as a matter of fact we all feel it makes us look bad," he told US TV network NBC.
Accounts of what happened to the swimmers have been confusing from the beginning.
News of the incident emerged after Mr Lochte's mother told US media about it.
Mr Lochte himself gave an initial account of the events to NBC on Sunday, saying he and the other swimmers had been in a taxi returning from a club in the early hours when they were pulled over by men wearing police badges.
He said they had pulled a gun and told the swimmers to get on the ground. "I refused... and then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead..."
Mr Lochte has since slightly altered his account, telling NBC on Wednesday that the taxi had not been asked to pull over - they had been robbed while making a stop at a petrol station - and he said the gun had not been pointed directly at his forehead.
He called the inconsistencies a "traumatic mischaracterisation" caused by the stress of the incident.
Police and the judge investigating the case found inconsistencies in the men's accounts.
CCTV footage of their return to the athletes' village appears to show the swimmers laughing and joking, and handing over their wallets, phones and accreditation, as they go through the security screens. The judge said they had not shown signs of being affected by a robbery.

What has been the reaction?

US Olympic Committee (USOC) spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statementthat Mr Bentz, Mr Conger and Mr Feigen were co-operating with authorities and looking to speak to them on Thursday.
Mr Lochte's lawyer told the BBC he had returned to the US two days ago before the controversy broke.
"He was never asked to remain for further investigation or for any other purpose after he met with Brazilian authorities after he gave a statement," said Jeffrey Ostrow.

Who are the swimmers?

Lochte is one of the most successful swimmers in history, with 12 Olympic medals, and he once had his own reality television show in the US. In Rio, he swam in two events, winning gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Feigen won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Bentz competed in the 4x200m preliminaries, but not the final. He still received a gold medal after the US team's win.