IOC: Hotel delays not affecting athlete families
SOCHI, Russia (AP) Family and friends of Olympic athletes have been unaffected by unfinished hotel rooms in the mountains near Sochi, an IOC official said Monday.
Although the problem provoked embarrassment for local organizers over the weekend, Olympics Games executive director Gilbert Felli said rooms ''will all be delivered'' by the end of Wednesday.
''We are not yet discover(ing) any problems from families,'' Felli said after his fact-finding visit to Krasnaya Polyana.
Sochi organizers have said three hotels for accredited media were not fully operational, with heavy rain causing delays.
Felli said several hundred rooms - of 41,000 available at the games - were either not finished, not cleaned or were missing telephones and televisions.
''It does not mean that it's a catastrophe, that people do not have a room. People have not been put outside,'' Felli said after a news conference hosted by IOC President Thomas Bach.
Families of athletes are expected to arrive in greater numbers ahead of qualifying events starting Thursday. The opening ceremony is Friday.
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Kozak, said the problems would be resolved by some ''final cleaning.''
''All the hotels in Sochi which will be hosting guests of the Olympic Games are built and ready,'' Kozak said Monday at a public meeting in the coastal city.
On Sunday in the mountain zone, workers were ripping up paving stones in Gorki Plaza and replacing them, and debris was piled on roads and in alleys. Others were painting and fitting cabinets and kitchens in some apartments.
Room sharing had been proposed as a temporary solution for some groups, rather than switching hotels.
''They have accepted some negotiations,'' Felli said. ''For three nights, you put two people in the room and people have accepted. We know that in some cases some groups would like not to change the place. They would like to stay in the hotel because it's more convenient where they have to go.''
One Olympic sponsor also discussed its options to secure better accommodation.
''We offer maybe to move and they say, `No, no, we want to stay here because the conditions are much better up here but we would like to have our room to be finished,''' Felli said, declining to identify the sponsor. ''So, some discussions with them and then they accept.''