Italians taking Olympic Village repairs into their own hands

A general view of the Olympic and Paralympic Village for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Barra da Tijuca. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
A general view of the Olympic and Paralympic Village for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Barra da Tijuca. (Getty Images)

When you want a job done right, why not do it yourself?

Unsatisfied with the state of their portion of the Olympic Village, members of the Italian national Olympic committee, CONI, did not wait for repairs on a few apartments on their block. Instead, they hired contractors to complete the job that Rio has not been able to finish with athletes just days away from traveling to the Olympic host city in droves.

“Manual workers, electricians, plumbers and bricklayers – hired by CONI officials there as a matter of urgency – have been working over the past few days so that the athletes’ accommodation can be brought up to normal conditions as soon as possible,” said Italian Olympic team leader Carlo Mornati.

With the Olympic Village’s repair tickets backing up faster than its plumbing, it’s no surprise that a team took the lead on making its accommodations more inhabitable. Australia faced similar issues and had a list of some 200 problems with their building before an odd exchange resulted in expedited repairs.

Even so, multiple teams have voiced their concerns as they prepare to move in throughout the week.

Officials from Argentina said that two of their five floors were unlivable because of plumbing and electrical problems. Great Britain and New Zealand also had similar issues, and Team USA had some small complaints with its lodgings.

Some delegations have also complained about a gas smell throughout the Olympic Village that was deemed “normal” by Rio officials. According to a spokesman, the smell of gas is due to connection tests.

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One quick Google search will tell you that a “normal” gas connection check would involve putting dish soap and water on a gas joint to check for leaks. A quick call to a contractor confirms that meters are “normally” used when checking for leaks as well.

Snarkiness aside, things are coming down to the wire for Rio. With less than two weeks until the games start, the Rio organizing committee admitted that 19 of its 31 buildings have not passed safety tests.

Now, Olympians and organizers are in a situation where they have shoddy conditions with people in danger. There is only one contractor that the Italians should have brought in to save the day.

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games begin Aug. 5.