Australian athletes arriving in Rio this week will stay in hotels instead of the Olympic Village after the athlete’s accommodation in Rio de Janeiro failed a stress test conducted by the Australian Olympic Committee.
The committee has had to find eleventh hour accommodation after the village, due to be the home for 410 athletes, was found to have uninhabitable conditions.
The village, due to be the home for 410 athletes, was found to have uninhabitable conditions. Image via Getty.
The AOC encountered plumbing and electrical issues that included “blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean".
Before the first athletes, who were due to move in over the weekend, arrived the AOC conducted a "stress test".
"We decided to do a ‘stress test’ where taps and toilets were simultaneously turned on in apartments on several floors to see if the system could cope once the athletes are in-house," Kitty Chiller, the AOC’s chef de mission, said in a statement to The Sydney Morning Herald.
"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."
An apartment due to be used by the athletes. Image via Getty.
The 31-building compound should have been a star among the troubled Olympics facilities. It is set among tennis courts, soccer fields, seven swimming pools and topped off by a massive dining-kitchen compound that’s as large as three football fields.
The village has 10,160 rooms, 18,000 beds, seven laundries, a hospital-like clinic, and to be expected - a massive gym.
But Chiller said so far what they have seen is not good enough, adding that Great Britain and New Zealand encountered similar problems Saturday night.
Last week sewage was found to be seeping into showers but it is reported that problem has been rectified.
Last week sewage was found to be seeping into showers. Image via Getty.
Chiller said a "crisis point" was reached yesterday after daily meetings each night at 8.30pm to verify the progress of the village.
"We have had a meeting at 8.30 every night to discuss the ongoing challenges but today it has reached what the Rio 2016 organisers have described as a crisis point," Chiller said.
She said only 10 of the 31 towers were regarded by the organisers as "ready for cleaning".
"Our building is one of those that is compromised in its plumbing and electricity," Chiller told News Limited.
"The main issue is water leakage, which leads to electricity issues. There are crews working on it 24-7. Initially they put 100 more workers on it, then 300, and then 1000."
Chiller said a “crisis point” was reached yesterday. Image via Getty.
Chiller said she would not be moving the team in until she was assured the building was safe and habitable.
"I won’t allow any team member to move into that building until I am sure from a duty of care perspective that it is safe, and ideally clean,’" she said.
In other Olympics news Russia will not receive a blanket ban from the Rio Games:
Over the weekend 53 Australian athletes arrived with another 50 people due to arrive today.
"We have beds for the staff and athletes arriving in the next two days, and we have cars to pick them up from the airport and cars to take them to their training venues," Chiller said .
"I am comfortable that we have a very acceptable alternative to staying in the village for now, and we will be making a day-by-day assessment from here."
Over the weekend 53 athletes arrived with another 50 people due to arrive today. Image via Getty.
Rio's Mayor Eduardo Paes responded on Sunday saying the village was, at least, nicer than the one in Sydney.
Then saying pointedly:
It is not unusual for an Olympics village to be plagued by problems.
Two years ago, Sochi made headlines when journalists arriving for the Winter Games began tweeting conditions of their accommodation that included undrinkable water, no heat and stray dogs.