An undercaffeinated Olympics are no Olympics at all
For Olympic athletes, the hits just keep coming. Word broke yesterday afternoon that there is no coffee in the Olympic Village in Rio, Brazil. Coca-Cola, the beverage sponsor of the Rio Olympics, has not provided coffee in the Olympic athletes' quarters, according to Egyptian archer Ahmed El-Nemr. Plenty of caffeinated Coke products are available, however. So, too, are patriotic manicures, courtesy of Procter & Gamble. As if Zika concerns and water quality issues weren't enough to put athletes on edge, now they will find themselves scrambling to get coffee at the Olympics by leaving the village in pursuit of nearby java joints.
“They said, ‘We are only limited to Coca Cola products,’” Nemr told NPR about the beverage situation inside the Village. And that's not the only problem the athletes are facing within the Olympic Village, either. Team Australia stayed out of the Village for two days upon arrival due to electrical and plumbing issues inside their accommodations.
The lack of coffee in the Olympic Village adds to the list of hospitality issues piling up at the 2016 Rio games. These problems have affected journalists staying in nearby hotel rooms as well, who have complained that their accommodations are unfinished. Some have dealt with a lack of hot water, and others don't even have shower heads in their bathrooms. But this isn't entirely without precedent, as the conditions at the Sochi Winter Olympics weren't that spectacular, either.
So it seems that everyone involved in this year's olympics has something to say about their accommodations. Gianni Merlo, President of the International Sports Press Association, has sent a letter to the Olympic Organizing Committee about the dismal conditions of the media center at the games. And he's got a point: the Olympics press center consists of little more than a water cooler, coffee maker, and bags of tea. But at least they have some coffee, right?
The ultimate irony in the Olympic village coffee fiasco is that Brazil is one of the world's leading coffee producers, making up one third of the country's total volume of coffee beans per year. Therefore, the price of coffee in Brazil is pretty cheap, costing roughly $1.80 for a cappuccino. And to pile on further, Coca-Cola does in fact have a coffee property—Gold Peak coffee—that they could have provided within the Olympic village. Thankfully, there are more than a few coffee shops in Rio, so long as the athletes don't mind walking in pursuit of their morning cup.