Olympic athletes are slowing beginning to arrive in Rio de Janeiro for the Summer Games, and one country is already warning others to steer clear of the athletes’ village. The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) told media outlets that the residences built for participants are “uninhabitable” due to significant plumbing and electrical problems.
The 2016 Olympics commence on August 5th and run through the 21st.
A total of 31 buildings each with 17 floors were constructed to house the Olympic athletes. But construction was delayed and only 12 towers have undergone “stress tests” and been deemed adequate by inspectors.
However, Olympic officials say the plumbing and electrical problems cited by the AOC aren’t widespread. Rio spokesman Mario Andrada told the UK’s Guardian that all the buildings should be cleared by July 28.
“Our task is to fix it as quickly as possible and to ensure everything is safe,” Andrada said.
The Dutch and Italian teams have also expressed apprehensions over the accommodations. Italy has hired local workers to finish construction on their rooms.
About 10 percent of the roughly 11,000 athletes participating in the Olympics have already arrived in Brazil.
The AOC has moved its athletes into temporary housing as work on the athletes’ village goes on around the clock. Australian team members cited blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring and poor lighting for the decision to abandon the residences.
But if one were only to read the official reports from Olympic.org, you might think the new buildings are marvelous and fully ready for the athletes.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) published stunning images of the village in a press release this week. The area was described as catering to “athletes’ every convenience including a laundry, florist, bank, post office, a beauty salon and 24-hour dining hall.”
Former Brazilian basketball player Janeth Arcain, the ceremonial “mayor” of the village, said of the complex, “When I arrived here for the first time, it made me miss playing because if I were younger, I would really like to be competing in my country and be in a village like this.”
Paddy Power Shocks Again
While athletes and international Olympic officials fret over substandard living conditions, the ongoing concern of Zika, and the potential for both crime and terrorism, bookmakers at Paddy Power Betfair are in a more jovial mood.
Notorious for offering controversial novelty bets like asking if US President Barack Obama would be assassinated and which animal would be driven to extinction by the BP oil spill, Paddy Power is up to its old tricks.
A print advertisement is currently circulating around the UK that reads, “Urine Luck! Money back as a free bet on any team Great Britain or Ireland athlete if they finish second to Russia.”
The campaign is in response to the IOC’s decision to permit Russian athletes to compete in the games even though the country is alleged to have sponsored doping. Instead of a blanket ban, the IOC will test various athletes in Rio to make sure they’re clean.
The “urine luck” is an obvious play on how typical drug tests are performed.
Though some found the language offensive, Paddy Power Betfair Ad Director Ken Robertson says it’s all in good fun.
“When we heard about the IOC’s decision we were Russian around to see how we could help our punters,” Robertson pun-fully told marketing media outlet Campaign. “We’re very happy with the ad, and if anything it’s our creative team that have been taking performance-enhancing substances.”