Jun 27, 2016

    Lots of condoms but no TVs in Rio athletes' village


    A 24-HOUR restaurant big enough to house jumbo jets, 450,000 condoms, a multi-faith worship centre and beds that extend to accommodate the lankiest of basketball players.

    They are some of the attractions to cater to the wellness of participants at Rio Olympics athletes' village, which will open in a month's time ahead of the Aug 5-21 Games.

    There are 31 buildings which can take in up to 18,000 athletes and coaching staff.

    The walkways between the towers are full of greenery and water features, even if a favela (slum) can just be spotted outside the confines of the US$835 million (S$1.1 billion) project.

    The organisers claim five Airbus A380 planes could be parked inside the restaurant that will serve 210 tonnes of food a day and with 7,000 seats available.

    Around 13,000 staff will be based at the village.

    There are 3,604 apartments with two, three and four beds.

    "They are not luxurious, they are basic but with all that the athletes need for their tranquility and mental preparation," said Carlos Nuzman, president of the local organising committee.

    There will be no television sets in the rooms due to the budget being chopped.

    Instead, screens are set up in communal areas.

    There are 19,000 beds of 2m in length which can be extended by up to 30cm.

    All rooms have anti-mosquito devices in a reflection of fears over the Zika virus.

    There is also a multi-faith worship centre catering for the world's major religions.

    The Islamic space will have separate rooms for men and women.

    Once the Olympics and Pa-ralympics are finished, the apartments will be sold.

    International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has already declared the complex "one of the most beautiful" he had seen.

    "It is the heart of the Games and it's from here that the Olympic message will be spread to Brazil and the world," he gushed on a recent visit.