August 2, 2016 7:03:13 pm
Record-seeking Britain have pulled out all the stops for their Rio Olympics campaign — to the extent of employing their own plumber for the leaky athletes’ village.
Water leaks and even a small fire have been among the problems reported at the newly built tower blocks, along with blocked toilets, exposed wiring and unlit stairwells.
Australia had to delay moving in because of concerns over the accommodation, and the Brits are taking no chances as they eye their biggest ever medal tally at an Olympics away from home.
“We’ve got our own plumber that comes in on a daily basis — he’s not at all overworked, but he’s there just in case something gets stuck,” chef de mission Mark England told journalists on Monday.
“Maybe somebody’s showers are a bit colder in the morning than they would have liked. But we’ve prepared.”
England added: “The bombeiros, which is the fire service, they’ve completely tested our building on a number of occasions and we’re very satisfied with the certificates that we’ve seen as well.”
All of Britain’s 366 athletes will spend time at the 17-storey building, including Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray and golfers Justin Rose and Danny Willett.
They have been warned to keep their valuables locked away after thieves raided Australia’s rooms during the evacuation for Friday’s blaze.
“It’s very well documented that Australia had some computers and some bags of kit taken,” England said.
“It’s just about being sensible — locking valuables away… as you would if you were overseas on holiday.”
England hopes that such precautions will keep Britain focused on breaking their away-from-home record of 47 Olympic medals, set at Beijing in 2008 before Team GB, as hosts, finished third on the table at London 2012.
“We’re here to make history. We think we’ve got the best ever chance, we think we’ve got the most talented team that’s ever been to an away Games,” England said.
“It’s certainly the largest team we’ve taken away for over a quarter of a century, since Barcelona 1992.
“We’re 366 strong and each and every one of those athletes has a very, very good chance of doing something very special out here.”
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