22 Secrets from Inside the Olympic Village in Rio

There's only one food outlet and you'll be SHOCKED at what it is.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. The athletes village is like a university campus, with a mini bank, post office and supermarket for their convenience.

2. But it'd be a pretty exotic campus, because this one even has its own little beach for the athletes to feel like they're sunning themselves at Copa Cabana in the run-up to their competitions.

3. The competing countries' athletes are housed in tall tower blocks, with each nation decorating the outside of their digs with flags to properly mark their territory.

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(Image credit: ARCHIVES)

4. And they really do get carried away with the patriotism. Record breaking cyclist Laura Trott told us that the British team's block is "so GB, there's lions and flags all over the place".

5. The athletes had their own little opening ceremony, where they all gathered at the centre of the village and welcomed fellow competitors in country by country. The Games organisers put on Samba dancers and music for it, but this was apparently cut short because of noise complaints from some of the less fun-loving athletes trying to get their 40 winks.

6. Athletes can get their hair and nails done in a private salon in the village set up by Procter & Gamble (which owns the likes of Aussie, Pantene, Always and Olay). Nothing like some patriotic nails for a bit of extra luck.

7. Competitors staying at the village are given a food voucher for every meal, just like catered uni halls.

8. Except there's only one food outlet in the village, and it's McDonalds. Yeah, you'd think it'd be something more like Whole Foods, wouldn't you?

9. And although you wouldn't think it, McDonalds proved SO popular among athletes, there were queues all the way across the concourse. Nothing gets in the way of an athlete who wants a Big Mac for lunch, it seems.

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(Image credit: ARCHIVES)

10. Athletes don't have to stay in the Olympic village; it's totally up to their team and how much funding they've got. It's thought that none of the US Olympic team actually stayed there, opting to rent space elsewhere.

11. It's like "being in the Big Brother house", according to British GB cyclist Laura Trott. "It's insane, every single person in there wants the same thing; there's like thousands and thousands of people in there and you're all striving for gold medals," she told us.

12. The rooms are actually pretty underwhelming compared to the luxury you might imagine. Each one is comes complete with a collapsible wardrobe, a full length mirror and a beanbag for all those times they need to chill in between events.

13. The bedsheets are decorated with the little Rio symbols for all the different events. You know, just in case they wake up and forget where they are.

14. But the beds are far from comfy, with Laura Trott even comparing them to camp-beds. In fact, the British cycling team brought their own, because you need a good night's sleep before competing in the Olympics, right?

15. Most athletes have to share rooms, like some kind of hostel. Apparently there can be up to four people per room, so we'd dread to think what would happen if you got landed with one fog-horn of a persistent snorer the night before your big competition. SHUT. UP.

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(Image credit: ARCHIVES)

16. But couples don't tend to share together. Famous British cycling couple Laura Trott and Jason Kenny stayed in completely separate apartments, she told us. "We're in different apartments, but they're opposite each other, so I just keep going in there!"

17. The Games organisers accounted for some sex going down nonetheless. And they want the athletes to stay safe, it seems, with a staggering 450,000 condoms being located in and around the village. That works out at 42 condoms per athlete. Well, if safe sex were an Olympic sport this lot would be raking in the gold medals...

18. Despite the obvious rivalry, tensions don't tend to run too high. "You're all in your separate blocks," says Laura. "The GB team is completely in our own block, although a lot of the smaller nations share."

19. And everyone comes out to support each other. "There's a little picnic area out front where everybody goes to watch each other," Laura revealed, adding that there's even a hashtag used among athletes to show unity - #OneTeam. Cute.

20. Everyone travels around the village on bikes. Like Centerparcs,only... er... in Brazil.

21. Athletes are seriously careful about hygiene in the village. "It only takes one illness to get into your block to take you all down," Laura told us. "My team-mate even wore a mask! That's taking it to an extreme level, but everyone's obsessed with hand sanitiser, and they've even given us this scrub thing they use in hospitals," the gold medalist added.

22. The toilets in the apartments contain signs which remind athletes to shut the lid of the toilet before the flush it to stop germs getting out. Now THAT is being excessively cautious.

Catriona Harvey-Jenner

Cat is Cosmopolitan UK's features editor covering women's issues, health and current affairs. newsfeatures and health. The route to her heart is a simple combination of pasta and cheese (somewhat ironic considering the whole health writing thing), and she finds it difficult to commit to TV series so currently has about 14 different ones on the go.