Cindy Lloyd, the mother of American indoor volleyball player Carli Lloyd (not to be confused with the American women’s soccer player by the same name), arrived in Rio last week with little time to spare before her daughter’s first Olympic match. And so, when she arrived at the luxury cruise ship where she is staying during her time in Rio, she quickly dropped her bag off and set back out for the volleyball arena.
When she got back, some hours later, she was greeted by Brazilian authorities and ushered into an interrogation room, where she saw the charred remains of what appeared to be her suitcase.
In a story in The New York Times on Monday, Lloyd explained that her suitcase had been exploded by Brazilian authorities — one of several unattended bags blown up in precautionary controlled explosions across the city over the course of the Games.
“The handle was nowhere,” Lloyd said of her bag. “It was completely blown up. There was some clothing. They use some sort of wet bomb, I think, because everything was wet. Some of the clothes were salvageable, but some were melted. Some had holes. My American flag was melted. And all the toiletries with caps had their caps blown off.”
Lloyd told the Times that Brazilian authorities explained to her that two bomb-sniffing dogs had stopped her bag. In the interrogation room, they showed her an X-ray photo of her suitcase and asked her to account for certain rudimentary items, like mobile phone chargers and shampoo bottles.
“They took me back to this room, and there were some really scary people,” Lloyd said. “They started interrogating me. I don’t know who they were, but there were five or six of them, all in uniform. And after about 10 minutes, they told me they blew up my bag.”
Perhaps most frustrating of all, Lloyd’s journey just to get to Rio was an arduous one that, due to flight cancellations, rerouted her and her family through Peru and Chile. Her bags were never a problem in transit, and yet Rio police still blew them up.
According to the Times, she managed to have a good attitude about the whole thing — even wearing a shirt with holes in it because she hadn’t yet gone shopping.
“I didn’t’t want to have a story,” she said of the incident. “Watching your daughter at the Olympics was a good enough story for me.”
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