Published on December 4th, 2015 | by PEM0
Sports: Athletes Will Have to Pay For Air Conditioning in Bedrooms at 2016 Rio Olympics
The 10,500 athletes at next year’s Olympics will feel first-hand the deep budget cuts buffeting the Rio de Janeiro Games: They won’t have air conditioning in their bedrooms unless someone pays for it.
Charging for air conditioning is part of what games organizers call finding “fat” and cutting it.
Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio Games, said in an interview that organizers have found up to 2 billion reals ($520 million) that needed to be cut as part of balancing the operating budget of 7.4 billion reals ($1.9 billion).
Asked specifically about the need for AC in the bedrooms, Andrada replied: “We don’t think it’s going to be critical [to have air conditioning] there.”
Though the games take place in the South American winter — Aug. 5-21, 2016 — it could still be hot. This year on Aug. 19 the temperature soared to 35.4 degrees Celsius (95.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Andrada said national federations might pay for some athletes, though it’s unclear whether poorer federations could handle the added costs.