Gerardo Werthein, the president of the Argentine Olympic Committee, yesterday announced that part of the Argentine delegation for the upcoming Río Olympics won’t be staying in the Olympic Village due to the poor state of the accommodations. The announcement came on the heels of a public denunciation from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) claiming its athletes’ accommodations were “inhabitable.”
In a press conference held at the National Center for High Performance Sports (CeNARD), Werthein explained that out of the five floors assigned to the Argentine delegation in one of the Village’s 31 buildings, only three are actually suitable to live in. The committee said it will move part of the delegation to apartments nearby the Village.
“Even though the apartments are finished on the outside and looked finished on the inside, we found out there were issues when we tested them. Argentina has five floors. We think two of them are inhabitable. We are renting nearby apartments and moving coaching staff and officials to have athletes stay in the town,” said Werthein. “We noticed problems with electricity and plumbing,” he added.
According to La Nación, each floor assigned to the Argentine team has eight apartments, each of which can fit six people. Since the delegation will now be using three floors, 144 athletes would be able to stay in the Village at the same time. But 213 Argentine athletes are taking part in the Olympics, and that’s without taking into account coaching staff and COA officials.
After initially refusing to have its athletes move into the Village yesterday, the Australian Olympic Committee today said its team would, in the end, move into the village after “fantastic progress” was made to address the residence’s conditions. Olympic organizers apparently worked nonstop to resolve the issue. That didn’t stop Rio de Janeiro Mayor, Eduardo Paes, from dishing a bit of sass. He responded to the Australian criticism by saying the Village is “more beautiful” than Sydney’s for the 2000 Games and that he was about to put “a kangaroo jumping outside” to “make them feel at home.”