This is a part of ThinkProgress’s #Rio2016 coverage. To read other articles about the 2016 Games, click here.
The athletes have begun to arrive in Rio de Janeiro for the Summer Olympic Games, and so far, first impressions have left a lot to be desired.
The Olympic Village has been declared “uninhabitable” by some, a private security firm has been sacked due to incompetence, and some competition venues are filled with feces, while others are simply collapsing.
The Australian team has had it the worst. Last week, the team refused to stay in the Village when, upon arrival, the athletes were faced with “blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean,” said Australian Olympic Committee Chef De Mission Kitty Chiller, in addition to “large puddles on the floor around cabling and wiring” in operations areas.
The team stayed in nearby hotels until the accommodations were complete, and moved in last Wednesday. The honeymoon phase didn’t last long, though. On Friday, a small fire in their building led to an evacuation, and while the team was gone from their rooms a laptop and team shirts were stolen.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes didn’t seem to have much sympathy for the plight of the Aussies.
— Wyre Davies (@WyreDavies) July 24, 2016
Other athletes have had security concerns too. Shortly after arriving to Rio, Chinese hurdler Shi Dongpeng checked into his hotel with a cameraman in tow when a drunk local approached him and vomited all over Shi. The cameraman chased the drunk man away while Shi went to clean up, and when they returned, all of their camera equipment and luggage had been stolen.
According to Inside the Games, when the two men went to the police station to report the crime, they had to wait for over two hours in line because there were so many other mugging victims there. An Argentinian official actually believed his team’s rooms had been sabotaged they were so subpar.
With only four days until the Opening Ceremonies, Rio and the International Olympic Games are frantically working to beef up security and upgrade accommodations for athletes and members of the media. On Saturday, the Ministry of Justice fired a private security firm that had been in charge of venue security because of “incompetence and irresponsibility.” As of last Monday, only 12 of the 31 buildings in the Olympic Athlete’s Village had passed safety inspection.
Media members have not been faring much better, as showcased by Stephen Wade of the Associated Press.
— Stephen Wade (@StephenWadeAP) August 1, 2016
Meanwhile, Rio’s waterways are still full of so much filth that athletes and tourists have been warned: “Don’t put your head under water.”
And on Saturday, the main ramp of Marina da Gloria, the sailing venue for the Olympics, partially collapsed.
Let the Games begin!