Australia team won't move into 'unfinished' Athletes Village


July 25, 2016
The Olympic Village is reflected in an apartment window in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday. The brand new complex of residential towers are where nearly 11,000 athletes and some 6,000 coaches and other handlers will sleep, eat and train during the upcoming games, that will kickoff on August. 5(AP Photo)


Australian athletes will not move into their rooms at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics until serious plumbing, electrical and cleaning problems are fixed, with the troubled South American games opening in under two weeks.

Kitty Chiller, the head of the Australian delegation, said in a statement yesterday that team members "will not move into our allocated building" at the Athletes Village. She gave no hint of when they might. Teams from Britain and New Zealand were also reported to be having similar problems.

This comes as the sprawling 31-building village, which will house 18,000 athletes and officials at the height of the games, opened officially yesterday with some athletes expected to arrive.

This is the latest problem for the troubled games, which have been hit by the Zika virus, security threats, water pollution, and severe budget cuts.

leaking pipes

"We're having plumbing problems, we've got leaking pipes," Mike Tancred, the spokesman for the Australian team, said in an interview with AP.

"We've got electrical problems. We've got cleaning problems. We've got lighting problems in some of the stairwells."

He said more than 20 staff members have been unable to stay in the building, and said the first Australian athletes were to arrive.

She said teams from Britain and New Zealand had similar problems, which have been going on for at least a week.

Carlo Mornati, the Italian Olympic team leader, said that some areas of the village were still not ready and that his national Olympic committee, CONI, had been hiring workmen to carry out repairs for days.

The United States Olympic Committee acknowledged there were small problems.

The compound contains tennis courts, soccer fields, seven swimming pools - with mountains and the sea as a backdrop - topped off by a massive dining-kitchen compound that's as large as three football fields.

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