Team Kuki content with Village

The Rio’s Athletes Village has come under scrutiny after the Australian Olympic Committee deemed it unlivable, citing “blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring.”

However, swift progress in addressing the concerns raised by the Australian delegation has resulted in their team agreeing to move into the village.

Graham said the Australians must have been expecting five-star accommodation, adding the buildings were new and pipes had to be given time to allow water to flow adequately without leaks.

He said there had been issues and concerns raised regarding the village which they were addressing with the games organising committee to ensure they met the requirements of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), especially for the athletes.

“We had to wait most of the first day here for our rooms, but it was only because they were double checking everything in the rooms to see if it was to the standard required for the games and to the host athletes,” Graham, who is in Rio, Brazil, said.

“Our rooms and accommodation are fine. We have running water, even hot water and the beds are great. There are a few teething issues (with things) like meals but it’s getting better by the day.”

Graham was yet to inspect the competition venues when this edition went to print last night.

He was also expecting to work out the logistics for travel between venues and the athletes’ village for timing and access to parking.

“Rio is a big place with a lot of traffic and sometimes a few crazy drivers, but the good thing is that there is a dedicated lane for games vehicles.”

Graham noted security presences around the athletes’ village and the games venues, adding this would increase in the coming days.

As for concerns regarding mosquito-borne zika virus, he said the organising committee was doing its bit to ensure the issue was under control.

“Since our arrival, they have sprayed the village twice. They have advised they will continue to do so throughout the week and during the games.

“Each room has a plug-in mosquito repellent and they have also made mosquito-repellent spray available to each participant at the games.

“The rooms in the village also have air conditioning, which means there will be no need to open windows for fresh air. Where we are situated (our rooms), we have the breeze blowing through the rooms when balcony doors are open.”

So far canoeists Ella and Bryden Nicholas and sailor Taua Elisa Henry have arrived in Rio and have moved into the village.

Sailor Teau McKenzie and her coach were due to arrive last night. Graham said by August 2, all members of Team Cook Islands would be in Rio.

“Our flag raising/welcoming ceremony is scheduled for August 2, however, we have requested for a change to August 4, lining it with our Constitution Day. “We are just awaiting confirmation on this from the organising committee, which is trying to see whether August 4, which is a day before the opening ceremony, is free.”

The 31-building $2.13 billion Olympic Village has tennis courts, football pitches, seven swimming pools and will house 18,000 athletes and officials at the height of the games, which end on August 21


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