Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Avoiding the Cubans Is Key to Games Success

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Avoiding the Cubans Is Key to Games Success

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Beard Olympics Editor

A SECRET plan to ensure harmony at the 205-nation Olympic village is under way as Games chiefs allocate rooms.

Among the main concerns for nations will be avoiding being billeted next to Cuba. Some of their noisy athletes have given them a bad reputation.

Enjoying home advantage, the 550 British athletes can expect to be situated next to the Scandinavians who are known for being considerate and have lived next to GB in previous games.

Team GB are likely to be in rooms opposite Australia because it is thought this will hone competitive instincts.

But some rival nations are to be kept as far apart as possible. These include Israel and Palestine and South Korea and North Korea.

Internet and TV access will likely be pulled for the North Korean team as team bosses keep them away from Western "propaganda", and organisers are braced for the unexpected. In 2006 North Korea arrived at the Torino winter Olympics without skates, and had to be taken shopping for essential kit on the eve of competition. …

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