Australian athletes and coaching staff are in hotels instead of Rio's Olympic Village because the accommodations are in terrible shape, the head of the country's delegation says. Kitty Chiller says the 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," the Sydney Morning Herald reports. She says workers have been trying to fix the problems in the newly built accommodation blocks, which are supposed to house 18,000 workers and coaching staff, but when they turned on taps in several apartments at once, the "stress test" failed: "Water came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments, and there was shorting in the electrical wiring," she says.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes scoffed at the complaints, saying the accommodations are better than what Sydney provided for the 2000 Olympics. "I am just about to put a kangaroo in front of their building so it can jump and make them feel at home," he said. The Courier Mail reports that Chiller retorted: "We've already got a kangaroo, we don't need another one. Get me a plumber, mate, get me a plumber." With less than two weeks to go until the games begin, the Australians aren't the only ones having problems. The Italians and Dutch have hired their own teams to get athlete accommodations up to scratch, the Guardian reports, though Rio authorities say hundreds of athletes from other countries moved in over the weekend without complaint.