Athletes say Village much improved but gripes remain

Tue Aug 2, 2016 6:53pm EDT
 
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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Despite lingering issues with plumbing and laundry, athletes and training staff say the Olympic Village is much improved, nine days after blocked toilets and exposed wiring forced the Australian team to move.

Organizers hired around 600 people to work on repairing the 31-building complex housing more than 17,000 participants at the Rio de Janeiro Games and within days they had coaxed the Aussies back.

"At first we had some problems but they were fixed and we're happy with the place. The rooms are even bigger than in London (2012)," said Australian canoe coach Mike Druce on Tuesday.

Not everything is perfect though.

The Argentines are complaining about weak water pressure in the bathrooms while Brazilian handballer Jose Toledo said the laundry service was less than perfect.

Several Olympians also noted a film of dust in most rooms from the recently finished construction.

However, conditions are a far cry from those on July 24 that the Australians called "not safe or ready" for the Games which start on Friday.

Rio officials called the issues "teething troubles."

Most athletes had high praise for the Village kitchens with the exception of Portuguese gymnast Felipa Martins.   Continued...

 
Aug 2, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; A view of the Athlete Village prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics games. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports