Summer Olympics: How to survive the Athletes’ Village

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The athletes' village is home to Rio 2016's Olympians

It has a florist, a grocery store and even a McDonald's

But there have been a few snagging problems

London CNN  — 

You know what it’s like when you move home. As you settle into your new accommodation you start to notice a bunch of snags that had completely escaped your notice when you’d taken that cursory tour of your new desirable residence.

So just imagine training all your life to make it to the Olympic Games only to arrive and find out half the facilities don’t work as you prepare for the most important event in your career.

That’s what happened to dozens of athletes staying at the Athletes’ Village in Rio de Janeiro.

But credit where credit is due – teams and individuals have shown an impressive can do spirit in dealing with what has been thrown at them.


While the water’s gone all green at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center, it appears there was rather a lack of it in the Athletes’ Village ahead of the Games’ start.

Although most of the problems seem to have been fixed by now by the local organizing committee, a number of athletes’ social media feeds were akin to watching a TV house makeover program in revealing just what needed to be done.

The Chinese Olympic team, which sent 405 athletes to Rio, was one of the first countries to highlight the village’s plumbing snags.

Australia’s chef de mission, Kitty Chiller, complained of “blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean,” and said her team wouldn’t move in until it was fixed.

Despite these setbacks, Australians finally settled in. The Aussies were in the same building as Evelina Afoa and Irene Prescott, swimmers from Samoa and Tonga respectively.

“Our rooms were fine,” Prescott, who’s competing in 50 meters freestyle, told CNN. “We’re staying in the same building with the Aussies. It’s actually fine.”

Hat tip though to Australian basketball player Andrew Bogut, who showed he was a dab hand with a needle and thread.

And credit to the Chinese delegation for the superb teamwork they showed in fixing their shower curtain problem.

Meanwhile Brazilian judoka Claudio Lima encountered an internal cul-de-sac in the village.

Stuck in a lift

On Sunday August 7, horror of horrors the village lost TV and wifi. Just how did those thousands of athletes cope?

That Sunday in the village also proved an eventful day for tennis star Juan Martin del Potro ahead of his first round win over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic after the Argentine was stuck in a Olympic village lift for 40 minutes, before he was rescued by his compatriots in the handball team.

READ MORE: Rio 2016 Athletes’ Village: A salon, a florist … even a McDonald’s

Maybe the men’s and the women’s US basketball teams were on to something by opting to stay on a luxury cruise ship.
The Rio 2016 organizing committee was not immediately available for comment on the various snags of the athletes’ village when contacted by CNN