Trouble struck in the Australian section of the Olympic Village last week.
Not only did some athletes leave their rooms in an “unacceptable condition” before departing from the Games, the Australian team mascots, an emu and a kangaroo, also went missing for several days.
Australian team chief Ian Chesterman denounced the young athletes who left their rooms in rough shape, but took a lenient and philosophical approach by not handing out any punishment.
"It is a book as old as time,” he said. “A good young person makes a mistake, chapter two is a good, young person is full of remorse. Chapter three is a good young person learns from the mistake and becomes a better person.
“I’ve had expressions of great remorse from a number of athletes who were involved in these incidents. They feel disappointed they have contributed to this conversation about behavioural matters in a team that has been exceptional on and off the field.”
The damage to the rooms is apparently minimal — some broken beds and a hole in the wall. Chesterman added that the cardboard “anti-sex” beds that went viral earlier in the Games are easy to break, although several athletes have debunked that notion.
The life-size mascots were recovered from the neighbouring German team’s village after a search — how they got there in the first place remains a mystery. However, Chesterman made light of the silly situation and played it off like there was nothing to see.
“We were just about to get the ‘Wanted’ signs around the village and post a reward for their return,” he said. “I’m pleased to report they are back in place and home. I think they went missing around the 28th [of July], turned up again last night and understand they enjoyed a pleasant holiday in Deutschland.
“The mascots enjoy holidays in the village from time to time. But we are very pleased they are back.”
Australia currently sits fourth in the Tokyo 2020 gold medal rankings with 14.
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