RIO DE JANEIRO — Australian Olympic team mission chief Kitty Chiller on Tuesday laughed off men’s basketball center Andrew Bogut’s critical tweets over problems he is encountering at the Olympic Village.
Australian team members have criticized the village for its lack of readiness while enduring a variety of difficulties delaying their check-in. A fire then broke out on Sunday, and team shirts and a laptop were reported stolen on Monday.
Bogut, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, took to Twitter to vent his frustration at the various issues he has encountered in the village with a series of tongue-in-cheek tweets taking aim at the lack of a shower curtain and the size of the beds partnered by the hashtag #IOCLuxuryLodging.
“He’s the best man to fix a shower curtain as he’s exactly the right height,” Chiller said when asked about Bogut’s tweets. “[The tweet] was a bit of fun. The village is what it is — we’re all mucking in and doing stuff and there’s no harm in it.”
Regarding the size of Bogut’s bed, Chiller added: “He’s got a big bed with a nice big mosquito net. He’s like a princess in there.”
This is NBA point guard Patty Mills’ third Olympics, and he has no complaints about the village, nor is he jealous of the USA basketball team, which is staying on a luxury cruise liner.
“I much prefer to cuddle with my teammates,” Mills joked. “We all grew up together playing basketball, so we are a tight bunch.”
Damian Martin, who will take part in his first Olympics and plays in Australia’s National Basketball League, is relishing every moment of the experience so far and is enjoying Bogut’s tweets.
“Andrew’s quick-witted, he’s intelligent, he tells it how it is and it’s funny for other people to read his tweets,” Martin said. “It’s one of those things that we’ll laugh about, and it’s part of the story of my first Olympics. He’s a funny guy and a lot of it is tongue-in-cheek.”
News of the Australian team’s misgivings over the state of the village first broke on July 25, and Chiller hopes the focus will now move from their logistical problems to the athletes, adding that the women’s water polo team will check into the village on Tuesday after being quarantined with illness.
“We had a bit of a turning point yesterday and it’s all about the athletes now, which is nice,” Chiller said. “We’ve got 250 [athletes], and by the end of today it’ll be 300. We’ve got our flag-raising on Wednesday to welcome Australia officially to the village, and that’ll be the tipping point — it’s Games on and the focus will be on the sport and the athletes.”