The Australian Olympic Team just announced it will not stay in the Olympic Village in Rio, due to a “variety of problems in the Village, including gas, electricity and plumbing.” Australian team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said in a statement that “no Australian Team member will move into our allocated building” upon arrival in Rio. Fears mounted after the Olympic athlete residences were tested revealing dangerous plumbing problems combined with “a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was ‘shorting’ in the electrical wiring.”
Between the Zika virus, potential terrorism and unsafe water in Rio, no Olympic Games in recent memory has suffered such a deluge of bad news just before the start. Predicted disaster, however, is hardly unique to the Rio Games: recent Olympic venues like Beijing, Sochi, and London were all derided as being unfit hosts before Games got underway. Yet the Olympics in each place were largely successful. Still, Brazil faces a unique set of problems.