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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 18:05 GMT
Competitors shun Olympic villages
The Olympic village in Sestriere
Olympic chief Jacques Rogge is staying in the Olympic village in Sestriere
Some leading competitors at the Winter Olympics have criticised the facilities on offer at the athletes' villages.

World Cup skiing champion Bode Miller has opted out of the village in Sestriere and will stay in the camper bus he uses on the World Cup circuit.

"The athletes' village is not a healthy living environment for a competition. The beds are really small and uncomfortable," said the American.

"Keeping things as consistent as you can at big events is very important."

Miller's team-mate Daron Rahlves, who won two world championship medals last year, also has his own mobile home with his wife Michelle and dog for company.

"It is really nice to have a comfortable living area," he said.

It's very cool to be in the Olympic village because it is the Olympic village but I'm roughing it as the room is cold and dusty
American skater Johnny Weir

Austrian skier Rainer Schoenfelder said he intended to spend as little time as possible in the athletes' village in Sestriere.

"After the combined I will go away, after the giant slalom I will go away," Schoenfelder said on his website.

Schoenfelder said that the Olympic village was not right for his preparation.

"During the Olympics people are so emotional - both positively and negatively. It is like you are fighting for your life," he said.

"That's great but it is not the right kind of energy and environment to concentrate on the race ahead."

American men's figure skater Johnny Weir admitted he was unimpressed with the accommodation in Lingotto.

"It's very cool to be in the Olympics village because it is the Olympic village but I'm roughing it as the room is cold and dusty," the three-times American champion said.

"I'm very princessy as far as travel is concerned as I like my creature comforts. I've been coughing from the dust."

But International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, who is also staying at the athletes' village, said he could not find any fault with the facilities.

"I think that it is very top quality," he said. "I tested my mattress this morning. The acoustic quality of the room is very good. You can't hear anything and for athletes, acoustics are very important."


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