19 of 31 Olympic Village Buildings Not Ready

Safety checks a little behind schedule, Rio authorities admit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2016 3:14 AM CDT
19 of 31 Olympic Village Buildings Not Ready Yet
The Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro will house around 18,000 athletes and coaches.   (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Olympic authorities in Rio are scrambling to complete safety tests in the Olympic Village that should have been carried out a long time ago—or at least before hundreds of athletes started arriving daily. The Guardian reports that 19 of the 31 apartment buildings, each of them 17 stories, have yet to be fully checked. The Australian delegation has complained that their assigned accommodation isn't fit to live in and other teams, including the Italians, have had to hire outside contractors to deal with problems including water leaks and electrical faults. The president of the Argentine Olympic Committee has also complained, saying two of the five floors assigned to his country are "uninhabitable," the AP reports.

Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada admits that there are many problems, but he says people are working around the clock to get the apartment blocks ready for all 18,000 athletes and coaching staff set to arrive before the Games begin August 5. The Australians hope to move in by Wednesday and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, who earlier joked about giving them a kangaroo to make them feel at home, has admitted that they had been assigned to the worst building in the complex. The Olympic Village was built by construction company Odebrecht and property developer Carvalho Hosken. They had planned to profit by selling the apartments after the Games, but a plunge in Rio real estate prices—and the jailing of Odebrecht's president for corruption earlier this year—could explain why the work wasn't completed to a high standard, the Guardian notes. (More 2016 Olympics stories.)

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