"O maior inimigo da autoridade é o desprezo e a maneira mais segura de solapá-la é o riso." (Hannah Arendt 1906-1975)

sábado, 30 de julho de 2016

At Athletes’ Village, a Nonstop Effort to Stem Flow of Complaints

At Athletes’ Village, a Nonstop Effort to Stem Flow of Complaints: Hundreds of handymen, electricians and plumbers were working round the clock to fix a multitude of infrastructure problems.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Olympic officials were scrambling and hundreds of handymen, electricians and plumbers were working round the clock Tuesday to fix a multitude of infrastructure problems plaguing the Olympic Village here, as complaints appeared to be more widespread than initially thought.
There were some signs of progress. Members of Australia’s Olympic Committee, which first publicly voiced criticism of the village’s condition Sunday, said at a news conference Tuesday that they were satisfied with the efforts, and that their athletes would start moving into the village on Tuesday evening.
Italy, which had hired its own Brazilian contractors to make improvements and repairs, also said its situation had improved. “Today it is better,” said Danilo Di Tommaso, the communications director of Italy’s Olympic team.
Officials with the Rio organizing committee said that 21 of the 31 buildings were ready, up from 16 on Monday, and that they expected the rest to be ready for occupancy by Thursday.
The opening ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 5.
Still, the complaints and the fact that many athletes could not move into their accommodations when they arrived were an embarrassment to both Olympic and Rio city officials, as well as the private construction companies commissioned to build the village.
Eduardo Paes, Rio’s mayor, has been severely criticized for his planning of the Summer Games, and in particular his emphasis on developing the western part of the city, which is widely seen as more beneficial to major real estate and construction companies than to ordinary Brazilians. After the Olympics, the village apartments are supposed to be sold and turned into residential housing.
The problems with the village come as Brazil faces major political and economic crises, and a Zika epidemic. On Tuesday, reports emerged that the former presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Fernando Henrique Cardoso would not attend the opening ceremony. Dilma Rousseff, the current president who is facing an impeachment trial, is not expected to attend, either.




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The problems with the apartments came to light Sunday, which was supposed to be move-in day for many of the athletes. But members of the Australian Olympic Committee, citing problems in their apartments with gas, electricity and plumbing, said the country’s athletes would not take up residence in the village. At the time, Kitty Chiller, the chef de mission in Rio de Janeiro for the Australian committee, complained of “blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring.”
On Tuesday, Chiller took to Twitter to say: “Extremely happy with Village progress. First Aus athletes to move into Village tonight.”
Still, the problems have affected athletes from several countries, including Belarus, Portugal and Mexico. Di Tommaso said that Italian officials found problems with electricity and plumbing as soon as their athletes started arriving on July 19.
They chose not to go public with their complaints and hired Brazilian contractors to address the problems. Italian athletes continued to live in their building in the village. “They are livable,” Di Tommaso said.
He said that as of Tuesday, 60 Italian athletes were in the apartments, with more to arrive soon. The Italian delegation will have approximately 300 athletes.
Officials from Argentina have also registered complaints. The head of its delegation, Diego Gusman, cited problems with light, water and the rooms’ walls, some of which were wet. “It is a disaster,” he told the Argentine newspaper La Nacion.
Gusman even suggested something more malevolent at work. He told that newspaper, “We think there was some kind of sabotage” because of how widespread the problems were — including for the host Brazilians, who he said had worse problems than the ones his delegation faced.
On Tuesday, Gusman said he did not want to discuss the problems because he was busy dealing with how to solve them.
Still, officials with the organizing committee indicated they were doing everything they could. They said that on Tuesday another 791 people moved into the village, 200 of them athletes, bringing the total population to 2,400, 600 of whom were athletes.
Correction: July 26, 2016 
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of the communications director of Italy’s Olympic team. He is Danilo Di Tommaso, not Di Tomasso.

FONTE - NEW YORK TIMES

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