Saturday, September 25, 2010

Athletes Angry with Tight Security

As the Games Village gets its new occupants, some teething troubles are cropping up with athletes complaining of “strict” security drills with some of them not being able to take even items of personal use like mouthwash into the residential towers.

Security personnel are under instructions to keep liquids out in the manner in which fluids are banned by most airlines in passenger hand luggage. This led to some arguments with delegates complaining that they were being put through checks that were excessive.

The point was amplified by CGF chief Michael Fennel during his visit to the Village on Friday when he suggested that security adopt some flexibility in dealing with such issues. With 96 residents in the complex and 160 expected on Saturday, there will soon be more to do for security personnel.

Some of the visitors were unhappy that the cars they were provided with did not have drivers who spoke English. There was not much the organizers could do about this even as some of them said there were similar situations at Athens and Beijing Olympics. Yet, it was felt that more translators could have been arranged. The buses would be less of a problem as there would be an official in every vehicle used to transport athletes.

With cleaning of the towers being undertaken at a frantic pace, there was a noticeable improvement and Australian and English delegations looked ready to move in. There were others, though, like Scots and Kiwis who were demanding they be shown design safety and fire certificates, which the organizers felt was a little excessive.