Olympic Athletes Complain Of Blocked Toilets, Exposed Wiring In Rio Dorms

Two years ago, athletes and reporters arriving in Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games were greeted with less-than-finished room accommodations that led at least one bobsled team to have a very rough weekend. Fast forward to 2016, as Olympic athletes descend on Rio and it seems like history may be repeating itself — leaky faucets, exposed wiring, and all. 

The New York Times reports that athletes arriving at the games have found their village to be unfit for occupancy, with the Australian Olympic delegation opting to stay in a hotel rather than the customary accommodations.

Kitty Chiller, the chef de mission in Rio de Janeiro for the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), says the housing units included not only beds, but blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, dirty floors, and inadequate lighting in stairwells.

“Water has come through the ceiling resulting in large puddles on the floor around cabling and wiring,” Chiller tells the Times.

The issues were found, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, after the AOC conducted a “stress test” of the village, turning on taps and toilets in apartments simultaneously on several floors to see if the system could cope once the athletes are in-house.

“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,” Chiller said, noting that the issues were also being experienced by delegations from other countries.

The Swedish women’s soccer team also refused to move into its designated apartments, while other countries — including the U.S. and Italy — had reportedly paid to have workers finish their rooms, the Times reports, citing Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

Officials with the Rio Olympic Committee tell the Times they expect to have the issues fixed within a few days, well before the games officially open on Aug. 5.

“There are some adjustments that we are dealing with and will be resolved in a short while,” Carlos Nuzman, the president of the organizing committee, said. “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.”

In Athletes’ Housing at Rio Olympics: Blocked Toilets, Leaking Pipes and Exposed Wiring [The New York Times]
Rio Olympics 2016: Athletes’ village ‘unliveable’, Kitty Chiller reveals ‘stress test’ failure [Sydney Morning Herald]