Olympic Athletes Complain About Shoddy Living Conditions in Rio
The United States basketball teams are living in luxury on a cruise ship while other athletes deal with issues in Athletes Village
The toughest part of the Rio Olympics may not be the competition – it’s trying to take a shower.
Athletes and journalists who have already arrived in Brazil were quick to share their concerns about the questionable lodgings, with problems ranging from collapsed sinks and flooding to no electricity in the rooms.
Australia’s Olympic team leader made headlines for keeping their 700 athletes and staff out of the Athletes Village for at least two days due to electrical and plumbing problems.
“Electricity and water is not a good combination,” Kitty Chiller told reporters Sunday, when the village was set to be opened for athletes, according to the Associated Press.
When the competitors were finally able to move in, they found there were still some issues.
Andrew Bogut, an Australian NBA player, took to social media to vent his frustration at the various problems he has encountered in the village, making up the ironic hashtag #IOCLuxuryLodging. In one tweet, he shares a photo of himself “putting together a shower curtain so we can shower and not flood the place.”
The Dallas Mavericks center also poked fun at the small sizes of the beds, writing: “We believe a bed is not vital for sleep. Fine tuned athletes can sleep standing up.”
Chinese athletes have also shared their encounters with unfinished bathrooms and poorly assembled furniture.
Team China’s official Twitter account shared a video of table tennis athletes hanging a shower curtain with the caption, “God helps those who help themselves.”
Team China also advised that duct tape is a handy tool in their lodgings.
“Tape is something athletes can’t neglect in #Rio2016 campaign. It can do you good in lots of ways at Olympic village,” captioning photos where athletes are using tape on their toilet seats, shower curtains and makeshift trash bags.
Media Village isn’t looking much better.
Chinese journalists have shared photos of collapsed sinks, shattered mirrors, no electricity and poorly assembled beds in their accommodations.
New Zealand journalist Jeff McTainsh also complained about his unfinished bathroom.
“You would have heard a lot about things being unfinished for this Olympics … well the bathroom I’m standing in is a perfect example of that, let me show you,” he said in a video, revealing that water for a shower simply fell out of a hole in the wall without a showerhead.
McTainsh also had issues with flooding, sharing photos of his bathroom and hallway covered in water.
“When I heard there was a pool at the media accom #Rio2016 I didn’t realise it was in our apartment,” he joked on Twitter.
To learn more about all Olympic hopefuls, visit teamusa.org. The Rio Olympics begin Aug. 5 on NBC.
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Some athletes that likely won’t have to worry about bringing their own shower curtains are the United States men’s and women’s basketball teams. According to NPR, they are staying on a luxury 196-cabin cruise ship called The Silver Cloud docked in Rio’s harbor for the duration of the Games.
This isn’t the first time the U.S. basketball players have been treated like royalty at the Olympics. The men’s team stayed on a cruise liner once before, at the 2004 Games in Athens.