Here's SI writer-reporter Brian Cazeneuve's lowdown on the Sydney Olympic Village, which will play host to most of the 10,300 athletes partaking in the 2000 Summer Games.
Over the 33 days the Village is open, the catering staff of 2,000 will serve more than two million meals in the Village dining hall, which seats 5,000. The caterers have stockpiled three million soft drinks, 530,000 gallons of bottled water, 500,000 apples, 243,000 pounds of beef, 150,000 pounds of poultry, 62,000 pounds of cheese, 40,000 gallons of milk, 38,600 pounds of lamb, 25,000 loaves of bread, 22,000 pounds of pasta and 2,760 pounds of bean sprouts.
The first gold medalist
That would be Chilean rower Felipe Leal, who scored 317 million in Baywatch pinball, one of the 60 pin-ball machines in the game room.
Athletes can play not only pickup basketball but also pickup boccie in the Village.
British athletes brought a London phone booth (above) and plopped it down outside one of their apartments. Show me the Yuan Among the subtitled movies being offered in the Village cinema are Mad Max in Arabic, Jaws in Turkish, The Full Monty in Hungarian, Girl, Interrupted in Greek and Jerry Maguire in Cantonese.
Nelson Mandela strolled the grounds with the South African team.
More power to them
The Village is the largest solar-powered community in the world. Sleeping with the horses The International Equestrian Centre has a separate Village for the grooms, farriers and veterinarians who travel with the equestrian teams.
The Village has 549 massage tables.
Taking no chances, even athletes attending Catholic, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish services at the Religious Services Center in the Village have been making pilgrimages to rub the tummy of the center's Buddha, the Village good-luck charm.
In case you really needed to know, there's enough toilet paper in the Village to stretch from Sydney to Perth and back two times—9,296 miles.