Rio mayor tells Australians he'll 'get them a kangaroo' after complaints about Olympic village


After Australia announced they would delay their entry into the Olympic Village - they have deemed it "uninhabitable" - they probably expected a different reaction to the problem than they got from the mayor of Rio.

For the time being the Australian team has decided to stay in hotels rather than the village after complaining that there were serious problems with the building - including blocked toilets, exposed wiring and water running down the walls.

Mayor Eduardo Paes' response to that decision was to crack this joke: "I almost feel like putting a kangaroo in front of their building to make them feel at home."

Beds stand ready in the bedroom of an apartment of the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro
A bedroom in an apartment of the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro (Leo Correa/AP/PA)

Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Tancred offered a pretty good response of his own to that comment, saying: "We do not need kangaroos, we need plumbers to account for the many puddles found in the apartments."

The Olympic Games start in Rio on August 5 and time is ticking down to get the athletes' village up to scratch as world stars from around the world start to jet into the Brazilian city.

Rio is not the first Olympic host to have had this sort of problem - journalists in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics were greeted by accommodation still under construction - and president of the Games' Organising Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman has said the issues were "natural" and that the Village was "the best in the history of the Olympics".

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes (Silvia Izquierdo/AP/PA)

Paes has admitted improvements needed to be made, telling reporters in Brazil: "Adjustments that have to be made will be made, and we will have the appropriate structure."

Australia's athletes were due to arrive in Rio on Monday - they'll now stay at nearby hotels in the short-term - although it appears as though some of their Antipodean neighbours have happily moved in.

New Zealand rower Mahe Drysdale is the defending Olympic single sculls champions and posted this on Instagram.

Looks pretty nice... just don't go to the toilet.