The Australian Olympic team cannot seem to shake off the string of misfortunes in their visit to Rio 2016. After being met by a series of inadequate facilities and unprepared accommodations, members of the Australian delegation were driven out of their Olympic Village building due to a fire that broke loose in the second underground floor of building 26.
The fire was believed to have been caused by a discarded, lit cigarette thrown into one of the garbage bins in the underground floor. The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) immediately enacted their emergency response plan and went door-to-door to alert their athletes. Fire alarms and sprinklers were turned off by maintenance workers.
The building was evacuated and all members of the delegation were taken into account, while firefighters immediately responded to the emergency, making quick work of the blaze. Occupants of the building were allowed to go back to their rooms 30 minutes later.
This follows a week’s worth of recent tension between the AOC and Rio 2016 organizers, wherein the Australians refused to stay in their rooms due to unfinished and unkempt facilities. After inspecting the Olympic Village’s buildings, the committee threatened to billet their athletes in alternative accommodations due to exposed wiring, leaky pipes and clogged toilets. The organizers have since responded, sending 630 men to act on the issues.
With the building and room repairs seemingly addressed, the Australian team moved in to the village. But the recent fire has again raised another Olympic Village concern for the AOC-is it really “smoke-free”? Australian chef de mission, Kitty Chiller, openly venting her frustration at the organizers, requesting to urgently meet with them and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to talk about the conditions in the village.
She has expressed concern that workers and contractors continue to smoke in the “smoke-free” Olympic Compound, where construction is still ongoing, and mounds of rubble, debris and discarded materials are still spread about.
PHOTO COURTESY: Bidgee/ Wikimedia