Australian Athletes Reject ‘Unlivable’ Accommodations at Rio Olympics Village

July 25, 2016 Updated: July 26, 2016

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced on July 24 that its athletes will delay residing in the accommodations of the Olympic Village, due to conditions deemed “unlivable.”  

“We decided to do a ‘stress test’ where taps and toilets were simultaneously turned on in apartments on several floors to see if the system could cope once the athletes are in-house,”AOC chef de mission Kitty Chiller told the Sydney Morning Herald. “The system failed. Water came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was ‘shorting’ in the electrical wiring.” 

Other problems include blocked toilets, leaking pipes, darkened stairwells without any installations of lightening, and dirty floors.

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Athletes from New Zealand and Great Britain have experienced the same problems, according to Chiller.

Though the Olympics is scheduled to begin in 12 days, the opening of the village has no set date. In the meantime, an extra team of maintenance staff and cleaners were dispatched to fix the problems and clean up.

“There were some construction problems, leaks. Some countries have been more affected than others, such as Brazil and Australia. … We expect to resolve all by the middle of the week,” said Mario Andrada, director of communications of Rio-16.

In an interview with local reporters. Eduardo Paes, mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro, vowed to show hospitality to those visiting Brazil. 

“We are here to welcome visitors. Adjustments that have to be made will be made, and we will have all the appropriate structures [in place]. As hosts, what we want is that everyone feels at home,” said Paes in the Village’s opening ceremony. “Brazil has this thing for welcoming,” and said he’d be just about willing to put a kangaroo in front of the Aussie team to welcome them. 

“It is natural that you’d have some kind of adjustments to make, but we will make Australians feel at home here,” he said. 

The Rio Olympics have been plagued with issues, including the Zika outbreak, polluted waterways, and a foiled terrorist attack.