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article imageRio Official: Over half of Olympic Village buildings still unsafe

By Karen Graham     Jul 26, 2016 in Sports
Rio De Janeiro - Social media is all a-twitter with pictures and tales about Rio's Olympic Village. It has finally come out, though, that most of the buildings are still considered unsafe. We are talking about 19 out of 31 17-story buildings.
Rio Olympic spokesperson Mário Andrada told The Guardian that the testing should have been already completed. And with less than two weeks before the games begin, safety tests are ongoing, but rather slowly as problems are found.
With athletes arriving daily, gas and water leaks are cropping up all over the place, and on Sunday, a short-circuit caused a small fire in building 26 where the Dutch team is supposed to stay. The shoddy conditions have shocked many team managers, athletes, and volunteers.
With reports coming in of flooded floors, broken elevators, mold and holes in ceilings, it certainly gives credence to the complaints voiced by the Australian, Dutch and Italian teams.
Referring to all the problems, Andrada said, “This should have been tested a long time ago. But the problem is there and now our task is to fix it as quickly as possible and to ensure everything is safe.”
The Guardian has also found out something very interesting and worrying. Remember when Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes jokingly said the Australian team needed a kangaroo out front of their building to make them feel at home?
Well, now, he has changed his tune, saying the Australian team had been assigned the worst building in the complex. The Olympic Village was built by construction company Odebrecht and property developer Carvalho Hosken. Brazilian property tycoon Carlos Carvalho bought up six million square meters of land in Barra, home of the Olympic Park.
He envisioned selling the apartments after the games were over and creating a "city of the elite." His vision of a Rio with the poor pushed out of the way raised a great amount of discussion and outright anger. But to make a long story short, we have to look at the construction company.
19 of the 31 buildings in the Athletes Village have yet to pass safety tests.
19 of the 31 buildings in the Athletes Village have yet to pass safety tests.
Marcelo Odebrecht, the president of Odebrecht Construction Company was sentenced to 19 years in prison earlier this year on corruption charges stemming from his handling of illegal campaign donations for Dilma Rousseff in 2010 and 2014. He was also charged with corruption involving the Petrobras case, or as it is known in Brazil, lava jato (“car wash”).
So is it any wonder that with the downturn in real estate values in a crumbling economy, and the jailing of the construction firm's president, that the apartment buildings are shoddily built and unfit for human habitation? As for the big recoup on Carvalho's investment? He has pre-sold just 240 of the 3,604 apartments — well below forecasts.
More about Olympic village, shortcircuit, fire in Dutch building, Unsafe, behind schedule
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