Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman has insisted all of the issues with the Athletes’ Village will be “resolved” before the Games begin after a number of major problems were raised by those who arrived at the facility over the weekend.
Nuzman has attempted to allay fears over the readiness of the Village, with Australian Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller describing it as “neither safe nor ready”.
The 74-year-old, who is also the head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, described the concerns flagged by Chiller – including blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring and darkened stairwells – as “adjustments” that would need to be made.
Dirty floors are another problem, Chiller said, while she claimed water has come through the ceiling in some areas leaving large puddles on the floor.
“There are some adjustments that we are dealing with and that will be resolved in a short while,” Nuzman 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.”
Chiller’s comments have raised alarm within the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with less than a fortnight until the Opening Ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium on August 5.
The IOC told insidethegames that “extra work” was required with staff working around the clock.
It will take “another few days” to address this, however, meaning athletes arriving imminently may have to stay elsewhere.
Members of the Australian delegation had been due to move into the Village, located in the Barra da Tijuca cluster of venues, on July 21 but are now staying in local hotels.
Chiller said she hoped they would be able to enter the facility on Wednesday (July 27).
Rio 2016 claim about 900 people from 66 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) were in the Village by yesterday afternoon after it was officially opened by Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, Nuzman and two-time Olympic medallist Janeth Arcain, who is the Mayor of the venue.
This included athletes and officials from New Zealand, Britain, Canada and The Netherlands.
“I am a spokesperson between the athletes and Rio 2016, and I guarantee that we have the necessary structure to make sure everything is perfect before the start of the Games,” Arcain said.
NOCs from the United States and Britain have also insisted they have no concerns over the current state of the Village, which is made up of 31 buildings and 3,604 apartments.
It will house 17,000 athletes and officials during peak times of the Games.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) admitted they had experienced “maintenance problems” but insisted this was “normal” for structures of the type of the Village.
“We are confident that our accommodation is ready to receive athletes and will be to the highest standards within the village,” a BOA statement read.
“Whilst we have encountered some maintenance difficulties this is not uncommon with new build structures of this type and we have been working hard to overcome them.”
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz