Friday 23 February 2018

'We can't take risks' - Argentina express concern over the state of the Olympic Village in Rio

The Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro
The Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro

Mark Staniforth

Argentina has become the latest delegation to express concern over the state of the athletes' village in Rio, indicating it will seek to house a number of its contingent of athletes and officials elsewhere.

The Argentinian Olympic Committee (COA) expressed concern over two of the five storeys reserved for their team in the suburb of Barra, citing problems with electricity, plumbing and finishing.

It follows similar complaints made by Australia chef de mission Kitty Chiller on Monday. She described the village as "simply not safe or ready", adding that no Australian team member would move in until the problems were fixed.

In response, the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, responded: "I almost feel like putting a kangaroo to jump up and down in front of their building."

Argentina is sending a team of 213 athletes to Rio. COA president Gerardo Werhein told Argentinian media: "We are hiring apartments outside the village.

"We all know the difficulty of getting accommodation at this time. (But) Although the organisation has said it will finish all its repairs, we cannot take risks."

In addition, the Swedish football team has reportedly cancelled its stay in the village, while other national Olympic committees are funding repairs out of their own pockets.

Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada expressed disappointment that some delegations had not found the village to their liking, but stressed that remaining issues would be addressed before the start of the Games next week.

Andrada said: "We have 630 men working 24 hours a day to fix problems in the Olympic Village and to deliver flawlessly before the end of the week, probably on Thursday.

"We are not ashamed of what has happened, but we are sad that not all the athletes have found (the accommodation) to their liking."

Press Association

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