Olympic Athletes' Village in Rio Has 'Blocked Toilets, Exposed Wiring:' Officials
The 2016 Rio Olympics athletes’ village is under scrutiny for cramped quarters, dangerous wiring and faulty plumbing – prompting certain officials to deem the area unlivable.
The Australian Olympic delegation said its Olympians will not move into the Village and have been “pushing hard for a solution.”
“Due to a variety of problems in the village, including gas, electricity and plumbing, I have decided that no Australian Team Member will move into our allocated building,” Australian team chef de mission in Rio, Kitty Chiller, said in a statement.
Chiller said that among various problems, some of the most concerning ones include “blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean.”
She adds, “In operation areas, water has come through the ceiling resulting in large puddles on the floor around cabling and wiring.”
The Australian Olympic Committee has been working to get their area of the village ready for its athletes and says Team Great Britain and New Zealand are similarly experiencing problems with less than ideal living conditions.
Teams began moving into the village, which is located in an area called Barra da Tijuca in western Rio, on Sunday. But many were surprised by the unfinished, unready accommodations.
On Monday, the head of the Rio organizing committee insisted that the living quarters – with 31 buildings and 3,604 apartments – will be ready within 48 hours.
Rio Olympics Being Plagued by a Host of Issues
“There are some adjustments that we are dealing with and will be resolved in a short while,” said Carlos Nuzman.
“Every Olympic Village, because of their magnitude, needs some adjustments until it becomes perfect,” he added. “The important thing is that everything will be resolved before the Games, without disturbing the athletes.”
The entire complex will host more than 17,000 athletes and officials at peak time.
The Swedish women’s soccer team is refusing to move into their village apartments, according to Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, reports The New York Times.
British Olympic Committee spokesman Scott Field said Team GB is working with Rio officials to “find solutions to issues that have arisen in the village for the benefit of all delegations,” according to The Times.
He added, “We are confident that our accommodation is ready to receive athletes and will be to the highest standards within the village. Whilst we have encountered some maintenance difficulties, this is not uncommon with new-build structures of this type, and we have been working to overcome them.”
Team U.S.A. will have 500 athletes and staff staying in the athletes’ village. U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky says the organization is “working with the local organizers to address minor issues and make sure the village is ready for Team U.S.A. athletes.”
On Sunday, a 27-year-old jiu-jitsu athlete claimed he was “kidnapped” in Rio.
Jason Lee (who will not compete in the Olympics as jiu-jitsu is not an Olympic sport) said men in police uniforms forced him into a vehicle and asked him to withdraw money from an ATM at gunpoint. “These guys have pulled me over, they have weapons. I’m not in any position to negotiate,” Lee told Stuff.co.
“Although the risks associated with Zika virus can be minimal and precautions can be taken, my wife Jessica is pregnant, and I don’t want to risk bringing anything back that could potentially have an effect,” van Garderen said.
The Olympics’ opening ceremony is scheduled for August 5.