Rio Olympics 2016: Australia's troubled start in Brazil

Kitty Chiller
On 24 July, Australia chef de mission Kitty Chiller decided that no Australian Team member would move into the Rio Olympic Village, saying their building was not ready
Olympic Games on the BBC
Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 5-21 August Time in Rio: BST -4
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Illness and medical isolation, thefts of computer equipment and Zika-protective gear, gas and water leaks at their Rio accommodation…

The Australian Olympic team haven't exactly had an ideal build-up to the 2016 Games.

BBC Sport documents their tale of woe...

Village problems faced with a sarcastic riposte...

Olympic Village
Australia finally moved into the Olympic Village on 27 July

Australia's delegation refused to move into the Olympic Village on the official opening day a week ago, citing electrical problems, gas and water leaks among other issues in the building.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes responded to Australian criticism by saying the village is "more beautiful" than Sydney's for the 2000 Games and that he was about to put "a kangaroo jumping" outside to "make them feel at home".

Australian delegation leader Kitty Chiller took the comments in good spirit, presenting Mayor Paes with a cuddly toy at the ceremony when her team finally moved in on Wednesday, July 27.

Eduardo Paes; Kitty Chiller
No hard feelings - Australia chef de mission Kitty Chiller presented Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes with a toy kangaroo after he joked that he was about to put "a kangaroo jumping" outside the team's building in the Olympic Village to "make them feel at home"

Stolen goods...

Being evacuated from your team building at the Olympic Village in Rio due to a "small fire" is one thing... but imagine returning to your room to find that essential equipment had disappeared.

That was the situation faced by Team Australia on Friday, 29 July.

It has been alleged that Brazilian "firemen" stole Zika-protective shirts from Australia's residence during an evacuation, when a laptop was also taken.

"I saw three fire [fighters] ... walking out with our team shirts," said Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller. "I didn't know if they were volunteers that had been given a shirt because they had helped us at that point in time.

"It doesn't seem to have been what happened."

Security guard
More than 80,000 police and soldiers will patrol the streets of Rio for the duration of the games

In a separate incident, Paralympic sailor Liesl Tesch, 47, a gold medallist at London 2012, and team physiotherapist Sarah Ross were robbed at gunpoint near their team hotel on 21 June.

The incident happened in broad daylight, with the pair robbed of the bikes they were riding during a training session.

Falling sick...

Four members of the 'Aussie Stingers', Australia's women's Olympic water polo team, were placed in medical isolation after suffering from gastroenteritis on their way to Rio.

The unnamed quartet - who make up almost a third of the water polo team - have been quarantined for 48 hours.

The team of 13 players landed in Brazil on Monday, following a delayed flight from Rome, where they had been training for the Games. They open their Olympic tournament against Russia on 9 August.

Missing stars...

Media playback is not supported on this device

Aussie Pearson wins 100m hurdles gold

Australia's total medal haul has fallen at every Summer Games since Sydney hosted the event in 2000.

A total of 35 medals - including just eight gold medals - at London 2012 was their lowest since Barcelona hosted the event in 1992.

It has not, however, stopped the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) targeting a top-five placing in the Rio medal table, but they will count some notable absentees from their team.

In June, Olympic 100m hurdles champion - and track and field captain - Sally Pearson announced she would not be able to defend her title due to a hamstring injury.

Elsewhere, the world's number one golfer Jason Day has withdrawn due to concerns over the Zika virus, while Nick Krygios pulled out of the tennis competition, citing a dispute over the AOC's "unfair and unjust treatment" of him.

Jason Day
Jason Day said that while the risk of Zika is small, it is not one he is willing to take because of "potential risks to my wife's future pregnancies"

Maybe their luck is starting to change...

On Monday, Australian tennis sisters Arina and Anastasia Rodionova were handed a late Olympic call-up for the women's doubles following a withdrawal.

It was not initially clear whose place the siblings had taken, but Dominika Cibulkova was forced out of competing with a calf injury. She had been due to compete in the doubles with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Anastasia, 34, will be competing at her second Games while Arina, 26, will be making her Olympic debut. Samantha Stosur and Daria Gavrilova will also be representing Australia in the doubles.

...but then again...

Dear Lucien Delfour of the Australian Canoe Slalom team,

Correct us if we're wrong...

Lucien Delfour
Canoe're doing it wrong

...but we're not entirely sure you're doing it right.

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