Members of the Lebanese delegation to the 2016 Olympic Games refused to travel on the same bus as their Israeli counterparts to the opening ceremony in Rio on Friday, with some attempting to block athletes from entering the vehicle, according to a report by an Israeli trainer who claimed to have witnessed the scene.
“I kept on insisting that we board the bus and said that if the Lebanese did not want to board as well they are welcome to leave,” Udi Gal, the Israeli sailing team trainer, wrote in a Facebook post Friday.
“The bus driver opened the door, but this time the head of the Lebanese delegation blocked the aisle and entrance. The organizers wanted to avoid an international and physical incident and sent us away to a different bus.”
So far, no official response on behalf of the delegations was given regarding the incident. The Olympic organizing committee has not yet offered any statement about the incident either.
For the 2016 Olympic Games which officially opened on Friday, Israel proudly showed off its largest delegation ever, with 47 athletes competing in 17 sports. Israel’s delegation also includes 34 coaches and about 25 support staff.