Acting like the world's most well-toned college students, several Olympic athletes partied on their way out of Tokyo, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Or at least, a broken bed and the kind of mess that needs a mop to clean.
Australian media is reporting that members of the men's rowing and rugby teams left their rooms in Tokyo's Olympic Village in “a messy and unacceptable state,” according to the Australian Olympic Committee. Crimes against decorum included a hole in a wall, a destroyed cardboard bed, and vomit in a location where vomit is not supposed to be.
"Some young people made a mistake, they had left the rooms in a condition that was unacceptable," Ian Chesterman, head of Australia's Olympic delegation, told Reuters. He noted that the damage was minor — it's not that hard to destroy a cardboard bed — and "the rooms were not completely trashed in any way."
Australian news reported that cleaning crews were necessary to, uh, mop up vomit after the weekend partying after other athletes, whose competitions aren't yet complete, understandably complained. COVID restrictions barred athletes from socializing or drinking alcohol anywhere but in their own rooms.
Also at issue: the case of missing mascots. Life-sized (but fortunately not actually live) mascots of an emu and a kangaroo vanished from the Australian team's residences. A wide-ranging, and surely calm and measured, search found the mascots in the vicinity of the German delegation. Hmmm.
"It seems they enjoyed a pleasant holiday in Deutschland," Chesterman said. "The mascots enjoy holidays in the village from time to time. But we are very pleased they are back."
Chesterman noted that the case of the hard-partying Aussies has been resolved. “It has all been appropriately dealt with and we have put the matter behind us here. I continue to be happy impressed by the behavior and spirit of this team.”
Demonstrating a wisdom uncommon in bureaucrats tasked with overseeing the actions of young and rowdy individuals, Chesterman indicated that the matter is part of an athlete's growth. "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."
The Australian rowing team won two gold medals, while the rugby team placed seventh in its competition.
Meanwhile, partying will return as a demonstration sport in Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and beyond.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at [email protected]
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