With two weeks to go, the Rio Olympics' grim outlook continues. The Australian Olympics team has a bone to pick with the civil engineers that constructed the Athletes Village. They have complained that the village is "not safe or ready" to live in. The complaints range from blocked toilets to exposed electrical wiring. The Aussies have refused to live in the apartments and have rather opted for hotels in the surrounding area until their building is ready. The Australian team's head of mission, Kitty Chiller, did not mince any words when talking to the media.
"Problems include blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean. This is my fifth Olympic Games, I have never experienced a Village in this lack of state of readiness at this point in time," Chiller said in a statement. She did, however, say that the rest of the Village looked to be one of the more beautiful villages seen in recent history.
Credit: Mahe Drysdale
Mayor of Rio de Janiero, Eduardo Paes has refuted the claims and has hit back at the Australians. He has said that Rio's village is "more beautiful and better" than Australia's village that was built when they hosted the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. However, the Australians maintain that the Rio Village is barely habitable.
Mahe Drysdale is an olympian on the Kiwi rowing team for New Zealand this year and has moved into the Village. He took to Instagram with the photo you can see to your left, saying: "All is good, few finishing touches still to be made but when you arrive at 5am on opening day you can't expect it to be perfect."
Similarly, the South African men's under-23 football team landed in Rio and reported that their specific apartments were up to standard. Rio de Janiero will see 15,000 to 18,000 athletes descending upon the Athletes Village and hopes to have it fully ready before the opening ceremony of the Olympics, on August 6th. It is said to be the biggest Athletes Village in the history of the Games. Once the Olympics is finished, the apartments will be put on sale and advertised to the Brazillian public.
To get a clearer picture of the engineering endeavours Brazil has seen on the back of hosting another large-scale sporting event, José Roberto Bernasconi, the president of Brazil's architecture and engineering union spoke about the country's great achievements in engineering. He spoke to the Huffington Post earlier this year, saying: "Rio went through a transformation after it was decided that it would host the Games. There was a great change in mobility and urban infrastructure with the recovery of downtown Rio, the demolition of the elevated expressway, and the Museum of Tomorrow. Those are extraordinary man-made works, combined with the city's natural beauty. It is a gain."
Nonetheless, the engineers who have designed and constructed the buildings on the lead up to the Olympic Games will be heavily scrutinized if something goes wrong in the upcoming weeks. However, it seems that the initial reports of unhabitable conditions in the Athletes Village will be handled come opening day. The only thing left to say is: "Game on." To see more of the Athletes Village, take a look at this video compiled by RT: