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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

RIO OLYMPIC ATHLETES VILLAGE Not Totally Ready Yet


Time is winding down until the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio start to captivate the world, and in light of this the impressive looking “athletes’ village” residential complex has now been opened to the steady stream of arriving Olympians. The problem is, while the tower apartments look really neat from the outside, inside are certain inconveniences that all but scream “rush job”.

According to CNN, Team Australia, which arrived in Rio on Sunday July 24 – the same date the Olympic Village opened for habitation – initially refused to live in their assigned residential building (B23) due to the toilets being clogged, the plumbing leaking, and electrical wiring exposed and easily touched.

Chef de Mission for Australia Kitty Chiller was appalled by the subpar conditions of their accommodations, which were made blatantly clear after the Australians had a “stress test” of the amenities performed. Chiller then spoke to officials of the Olympic organizing committee to have these issues resolved, while their team will be staying in hotels in the meantime.

Apparently all that was needed there was some gentle persuasion, as the officials had repair crews get to work correcting the flaws and, in the words of the Australian competitors themselves, have made “fantastic progress” at it. As of Wednesday July 26 Team Australia may be all set to move in to their newly fixed building allocation. Mario Andrada, a spokesman for the Rio Olympics organizers, have assured athletes that a team of 630 experts were hard at work 24 hours a day to make sure all kinks have been ironed out of the Olympic Village by Thursday July 27.

Team Argentina also found itself in the same boat as the Australians regarding the hiccups in their official apartments, and thus was also accommodated outside the Athletes’ Village for the time being. According to the Argentine Olympic Committee president Gerardo Werthein, in an echo of Chiller’s initial assessment, “While the apartments look finished outside, and even inside, when we started testing them, we found some problems that have to do with plumbing and electricity." At the very least the common facility for all Olympic soccer teams was truly ready, he added.

In contrast, the National Olympic Committee for Italy did not bother waiting for the Olympic Village repair crews and simply hired masons, plumbers and electricians on their own initiative to “normalize” conditions in their Team’s allotted building, also asking their athletes for both understanding and cooperation for their repair efforts, according to INOC vice-secretary and former Olympic medalist Carlo Mornati.

The Rio Olympic Village boasts 31 17-storey apartment towers to host the Olympic participants, along with courts, fields and pools wherein they could practice for their respective events to leave the actual sports venues free. The 2016 Summer Olympics itself will commence on August 5.

Photo Credit to www.si.com

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