In what is by far the weirdest story to come out of Day One of the 2016 Olympics, a military bullet fell from the sky and pierced the ceiling of the equestrian press tent Saturday afternoon.


No one was harmed by the mysterious bullet, but still… what? Bullets raining from the sky is not really how you hope to start the Olympics.

According to Horse & Hound, the bullet was identified as a 5.56mm assault rifle round. Here’s H&H’s account:

It landed at lunch time, a particularly busy time in the press office as journalists from all nations were busy writing up their stories from the morning’s eventing dressage.

All three of H&H’s team in Rio were in the room at the time. The bullet landed nearest to British photographer Jon Stroud — who is here working for Team GBR. He ran to the far end of the room to seek help.

Team GBR’s Pippa Wade was sitting next to Jon when the bullet landed. The British Equestrian Federation’s Dan Hughes was also in the press room, talking to commentators Ian Stark and Mike Tucker.

The bullet, which was bronze in colour, landed on the carpet and did not pierce it. The photo manager at the venue quickly retrieved the bullet, but not before photographer Pierre Costabadie could photograph it.

Via H&H, here’s the bullet:


H&H speculated that the bullet had come from the military base next door. And according to Newshub’s Melissa Davies, police determined the bullet was fired unintentionally.

What a weird story. Maybe the equestrian press should wear hard hats from now on.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.