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Rio Olympic Village Not Ready as Athletes Start Arriving

Image: Rio Olympic Village Not Ready as Athletes Start Arriving

Dancers rehearse for welcoming at Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 Jul 2016 05:49 AM

Athletes were expected to start arriving in Rio de Janeiro, but the Olympic Village is not ready, some teams have complained.

"We're having plumbing problems, we've got leaking pipes," Mike Tancred, the spokesman for the Australian team, told The Associated Press. "We've got electrical problems. We've got cleaning problems. We've got lighting problems in some of the stairwells."

About 20 staff members were at the site Saturday ahead of athletes who were expected to arrive on Monday. When they turned on taps and flushed toilets "water came flooding down the walls," Tancred said. Staff members have been staying in nearby hotels.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes shot back at Australia's criticism, saying the Village is "more beautiful" than Sydney for the 2000 Games and that he was about to put "a kangaroo jumping outside" to "make them feel at home," the BBC reported.

The United States team acknowledged "minor issues," and the team from Britain said there were "some maintenance difficulties."

Repairs to the $1.5 billion village, where 5 percent of the 3,600 apartments are said to have problems, could force delays as the International Olympic Committee is asking for stress tests throughout the village, the AP said. The opening ceremony is set for Aug. 5. The village is expected to house 18,000 athletes and support staff.

Some teams, including the United States, Italy and the Netherlands, paid for workers to finish their rooms, The New York Times reported, citing Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

Some delegation members have moved in, and Olympic officials said the problems are expected to be fixed "within a few days," the Times said.

“There are some adjustments that we are dealing with and will be resolved in a short while,” said Carlos Nuzman, the president of the organizing committee, according to the Times. “Every Olympic village, because of their magnitude, needs some adjustments until it becomes perfect. The important thing is that everything will be resolved before the Games, without disturbing the athletes.”

British team spokesman Scott Field expressed confidence, saying "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."

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Athletes were expected to start arriving in Rio de Janeiro, but the Olympic Village is not ready, some teams have complained.
rio, olympic village
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2016-49-26
Tuesday, 26 Jul 2016 05:49 AM
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