Gas Leaks, Fires, Thieves: Australia is Having a Bad Time at the Olympics

By Sophie Kleeman on at

Australia’s Olympic teams, which are currently preparing to compete in the upcoming Summer Games, have it really bad, and their competition includes a woman who recently mistook a large dildo for a duck.

The Australian athletes are already finding themselves facing down the omnishambles of the 2016 Olympics — as well as some unrelated issues — and the Games haven’t even officially started yet. And while athletes are most certainly not the primary victims of the Olympics — that unlucky designation goes to Rio’s residents, who will be forced to deal with the havoc wrought by the Games long after everyone else has left — the troubles that have befallen the Australians are rather unfortunate.

Australian Olympic boss calls Olympic village uninhabitable

“We decided to do a ‘stress test’ where taps and toilets were simultaneously turned on in apartments on several floors to see if the system could cope once the athletes are in-house,” Kitty Chiller said in a statement last week. “The system failed. Water came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was ‘shorting’ in the electrical wiring.”

In response, Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes joked that he would put a kangaroo in front of the building.

Australian athletes eventually move into village, are promptly met with gas leaks

Artistic gymnast Larissa Miller claimed she smelled gas after she moved in, even though “emergency repairs” were done to make sure everything was in order before her arrival. “But they were onto it straight away. They came and fixed it,” she assured the Australian Associated Press.

Australian athletes have “Zika shirts” stolen during fire evacuation

The embattled Kitty Chiller told reporters on Friday that someone stole the athletes’ “Zika shirts” — gear meant to protect them from the Zika virus — during an evacuation for a basement fire. The fire was reportedly investigated as possible arson.

Australian women’s water polo team hit by gastroenteritis outbreak

Four team members are looking at 48 hours in “medical isolation” after suffering an attack of gastroenteritis prior to their arrival in Rio. Surely this won’t stoke fears of contaminated water!

Australian rowers forced to borrow boats and oars

Though the women’s eight team ended up in Rio after a stroke of good luck — which is to say after the Russian teams were busted for doping — they’re not out of the woods yet: they have to borrow a boat and oars because “the one they used in Switzerland was shipped back to Australia and can’t be sent to Brazil in time for the start of Olympic racing there,” according to the AP.

Australian sailors will rely on 1) Not falling out of the boat and 2) Keeping their mouths closed to avoid terrible water pollution

“They are just getting on with it,” Kitty Chiller explained today. Other protective measures include immediate, post-race showers, incessant hand-washing, and “avoiding touching ropes or boats with bare hands”.

Good luck, Australia! [H/T Ryan Broderick]