With less than two weeks until the start of the Olympics and hundreds of athletes arriving for the Games by the day, Olympic officials admitted late Monday that only 12 of 31 buildings in Rio’s Olympic village have passed safety inspections.
According to The Guardian, stress tests have still not been fully conducted in every building because the complex, which cost nearly $1 billion, was completed behind schedule. As a result, team officials arrived over the weekend to find gas and water leaks, broken elevators, flooded floors, and, on at least one occasion, a small fire as a result of a short circuit.
From The Guardian:
Although Rio2016 said the faults affected only 5% of the rooms, spokesman Mário Andrada admitted only 12 of the 31 tower blocks have been checked and proved OK.
“This should have been tested a long time ago,” he told the Guardian. “But the problem is there and now our task is to fix it as quickly as possible and to ensure everything is safe.”
Olympic officials have promised to clear things up by Thursday, but in the meantime several athletic delegations are staying elsewhere. The Australian team checked into several hotels after conducting a stress test of their own, which caused flooding.
On Saturday, a “small fire” broke out in the building where the Dutch team is supposed to stay.
“A technician was working on a fuse box. There was a short circuit and a small fire, which he extinguished himself. The electricity was disconnected and there was no need for an evacuation or to call firefighters,” Andrada told The Guardian.
Although there may not have been any need for evacuation, the Dutch team still did not sound pleased.
“Of course, this is a disappointment. It affects all participating countries,” a Dutch team spokesperson said. “It is the responsibility of the organising committee to deliver a safe and well-functioning village.”
Along with problems for athletes, the Olympic village is already looking light a financial nightmare for the developers and investors behind it. According to The Guardian, a property developer named Carvalho Hosken, along with the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, planned to recoup their investment in the village by selling the apartments to local citizens. However, the property market has dropped 20% over the year, and approximately 240 of the 3,604 apartments have been pre-sold.
With each passing Games, it becomes more and more clear that the Olympics is a terrible investment for the host city. Rio hasn’t even started and that is likely already the case here, too.
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