The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) is fully abreast about the concerns expressed over the readiness of the Olympic Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Games. However, TTOC president Brian Lewis is confident the Rio Games organising committee is doing everything it can to address all the issues ahead of the Games which start on August 5.
Less than two weeks before the opening ceremony, the Australia Olympic Committee chef de mission Kitty Chiller expressed concerns over the state of the Village, saying that it was not suitable for athletes to move in.
Chiller revealed that some of the problems included “blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring”.
Speaking to the Express yesterday, Lewis said the T&T Olympic Games contingent is currently in Sao Paulo for a pre Olympic Games camp from July 24 to August 4 and that will move into the Village at the end of the camp at which time he is confident the issues would have been resolved.
Asked if he was at all worried about the matters raised by the Australians, Lewis said: “I am confident that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Rio 2016 organising committee are aware of the issues and are working assiduously to address all the concerns and meet the expectations of all the participating countries.”
He added: “Our experience has always been that you go into the Village from the second or third of August and from my previous experience there will always be teething problems. That is why you have test events. There will be issues,” he said.
“There is no Games that would not have teething problems and I am advised that the International Olympic Committee and the local organising committee for the Rio 2016 Games have apologised for any inconvenience that has been caused and are working to address the issues and while the village is open, all the countries will be arriving around August 1,
“Australia going early will make sure to highlight all the issues and in their mind they have to ensure everything is perfect and safe for the athletes. We appreciate everything won't be perfect but what we expect that the safety and comfort of all the athletes will be well taken care of,” Lewis added.
He said that he is not making excuses for Brazil but at the same time is very supportive of South American country because it is the first time a South American nation will be hosting an Olympic Games.
“Brazil is going through its worst recession. There are social, economic and political problems but I am confident they are making every effort to meet the expectations of all countries,” Lewis said.