The pair, who won silver medals in the London 2012 Olympics, are spending two weeks training in Rio ahead of the 2016 Olympics which is set to take place in the countries capital. The pair were walking home around 5:30pm when they were approached by two men wielding knifes and pushing them.
The Olympiads, known as the '470 Girls,' took to Facebook informing their fans that they had been robbed of everything on them, including their sailing lycras, which they found both annoying and unbelievable. Fortunately, the girls were left unharmed and safely returned to their hotel, but as expected were shaken by the experience.
Early this year, the duo won bronze in the 2014 World Championships held in Santander, securing their place for Team GB in the 470 Women's category in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Following their qualification, they visited the city this past Summer where they stayed in the same area and did not encounter any issues - however due to the World Cup hosted in Rio this Summer, there was a much greater presence of police in the area and therefore it was considered relatively safe.
Mills and Clark have said that they have learnt a hard lesson and it has reminded them that they cannot become too comfortable and must be diligent in their surroundings. But despite such a terrifying experience, the sailors have said that they have been warmly welcomed to the City and remain positive about Rio so far.
There has been much scepticism surrounding the safety and preparations of the 2016 Olympic games hosted by Brazil, with statistics such as having the 7th highest homicide rate in the world raising major concerns for both competitor and spectator safety - this latest incident involving two competitors will do little to build faith in those attending.
Early this year there were additional issues raised relating to the lack of preparation for the games which is less than two years away. The International Olympics Committee VP John Coates stated that the progress for the 2016 games is the worst he has ever seen and claims that it is worst than that of Athens 2004 where work was still being completed on the eve of the opening ceremony!
In all, it seems that there are major social and infrastructural issues which urgently need to be addressed to ensure that the 2016 games will be both safe and enjoyable, although the recent success of the World Cup does hold some promise for 2016.
For now, Mills and Clark are continuing their training after a quick stop to the shops to obtain some new gear! We wish them the best of luck in their training and hope that they recover quickly from this incident.
Source: The Telegraph