2016 Olympic Judo Bronze Medalist Beat Up In Rio

Photo/Facebook: Dirk Van Tichelt

Dirk Van Tichelt, the Belgian Olympian, was mugged on Copacabana Beach on Monday, only hours after claiming his Olympic medal.

Van Tichelt claimed bronze in the seventy-three kilogram judo tournament, and – as is customary in Brazil – decided to celebrate on the beach. The Olympic Committee from Belgium reported that Van Tichelt had been mugged, but did not need any hospital treatment.

Apparently, Van Tichelt had his mobile phone stolen, after being punched in the face. Reports suggest that two criminals were involved in the incident, and that the assailant who punched Van Tichelt was an accomplice of the man who took the phone.

Thankfully, Van Tichelt’s bronze medal was not stolen during the attack. On Tuesday, he posted a photograph online, showing him holding his medal sporting a black eye.

During the Olympic Games, Copacabana Beach (which is where the beach volleyball event takes place) has been frequented by party goers. Amongst all of Rio’s well documented problems, it seemed to be a welcome bright spot.

Just twenty-four hours after the incident involving Van Tichelt, a media bus departing an Olympic event is said to have been shot at.


  1. Who says he wasn’t assaulted by multiple attackers? It might not just be a lack of technique or holes in his game that were the problems here.

  2. What a crappy article. The REAL story is that a thief stole his training partner’s cell phone. As he was running after the thief, he was punched in the face by someone else. He was not “beaten up.” Geeze!

  3. BJJ/MT/etc practitioners should practice with guns and knives all the time for ultimate realism. One day they’ll be as effective at self defense as Aikido. Durrrrrrrrr

  4. Based on this article it sounds like he was challenged in the bar, squared up, tried to pull donkey guard, got kicked in the balls and called for the ref because he didn’t know how a street fight works. Great article!

  5. He broke into the lobby of a hotel that he thought the thief had run into and got into a fight with a male practitioner of jiujitsu who worked at the reception desk. Both were injured. It doesn’t say how badly the other guy was injured though. Anyway he was very drunk at the time.


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