2016 Rio Olympics logo (File)
Sydney - 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.
Chiller, the head of the Australian delegation, said in a statement on Sunday 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.
comes as the sprawling 31-building village, which will house 18 000 athletes
and officials at the height of the games, opened officially on Sunday with some
athletes expected to arrive.
the latest problem for the troubled games, which have been hit by the Zika
virus, water pollution and severe budget cuts.
International Olympic Committee and local organizers held emergency talks
on Sunday, but did not reply immediately to emails from The Associated Press.
having plumbing problems, we've got leaking pipes," Mike Tancred, the
spokesperson 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."
more than 20 staff members have been unable to stay in the building, and said
the first Australian athletes were to arrive Monday.
did a stress test on Saturday, turned on the taps and flushed the toilets, and
water came flooding down the walls," Tancred said.
listed the same problems, and added more.
came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there
was 'shorting' in the electrical wiring," she said. "We have been
living in nearby hotels because the village is simply not safe or ready."
said teams from Britain and New Zealand had similar problems, which have been
going on for at least a week.
United States Olympic Committee acknowledged there were small problems.
is the case with every Games, we're working with the local organisers to
address minor issues and make sure the village is ready for team USA
athletes," spokesperson Patrick Sandusky told AP.
reports said about 5% of the apartments had gas, water and electrical
faults, and some were without toilet fixtures.
Field, spokesperson for the British team, declined to comment but acknowledged
problems were being tackled.
said the IOC will ask local organisers to do stress tests "throughout the
Olympic Village," a process that could force major delays and require
people living there now to relocate.
31-building 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.
3 600 apartments are to be sold after the Olympics with some prices reaching
$700 000. The development costs about $1.5 billion, built by the Brazilian
billionaire Carlos Carvalho.
the exterior it looks like the Hilton Hotel," Tancred said. "But
inside it's not finished."