An Olympic Team Called These Rooms 'Uninhabitable'

July 25th 2016

Almie Rose

After much back and forth about Rio's Olympic Village, which was slammed for being unlivable, many wondered if we had a #SochiProblems part 2 on our hands.

The hashtag referred to the dismal conditions in the Sochi Olympic Village in Russia, where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held.

But the Housing Situation Appears to Have Been Improved

On Sunday, Australian Team leader, Kitty Chiller, released a statement detailing the issues with the housing, calling it, "not safe or ready" to be lived in. By Monday, her outlook had turned more optimistic. "There was fantastic progress made today," she said, according to Reuters. "It's looking like, according to our plan, we will be able to move everybody in on Wednesday."

Here's Why the Australian Team Was Not Impressed

Chiller's original statement detailed the disappointing conditions:

"TEAM: Due to a variety of problems in the Village, including gas, electricity and plumbing I have decided that no Australian Team member will move into our allocated building (B23).


Problems include blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean.

In operations areas water has come through the ceiling resulting in large puddles on the floor around cabling and wiring.


Last night (Saturday), 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.

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.

We were due to move into the Village on 21 July but we have been living in nearby hotels, because the Village is simply not safe or ready."

Rio Olympic Village roomThe Village is expected to hold up to 17,200 people according to BuzzFeed, with teams starting to arrive last Friday for the games beginning on August 5. A spokesperson for IOC told BuzzFeed News that they are working "24 hours a day" but,

"Unfortunately, Rio 2016 expects this to take another few days. Athletes that are arriving in the Village and whose accommodation is not finished will be placed in the best available accommodation in other buildings."

Rio Olympic Village bedroom

Rio's Mayor joked about the Australian teams refusal to stay in the village

Rio's Mayor, Eduardo Paes, is perhaps not taking the claims seriously. He's retorted by saying the Village is "more beautiful" than the Village for the Sydney Olympics and that he would put "a kangaroo jumping outside" for the Australian athletes to "make them feel at home," according to the BBC.

Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Tancred was not amused, saying, "We do not need kangaroos, we need plumbers to account for the many puddles found in the apartments," Mashable reports.

And though the situation has improved, it's still enough to wonder why cities are desperate to host the Olympics when they don't have the adequate space, funds, or conditions.