Australia’s Rugby and Rowing Teams Went on a Drunken Rampage Through the Olympic Village Before Departing Tokyo

The rowdy night out involved holes in walls and a life-sized emu and kangaroo going missing for a period of time

The Australian flag
Flag bearers hold the Australian flag at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Lintao Zhang/Getty

Departing from Tokyo with a pair of gold medals, male athletes from the Australian rowing team left behind damage including vomit, broken beds and a hole in the wall in their rooms in the Olympic village after embarking on a drunken, rowdy evening that also resulted in a life-sized emu and kangaroo temporarily vanishing.

Rowing Australia, which was accompanied on their rampage by Rugby Australia, left their rooms in the Olympic village “in a messy and unacceptable state,” the Australian Olympic Committee said.

However, no disciplinary action will be taken against any of the athletes after they apologized, according to Team Australia chief Ian Chesterman.

“Some young people made a mistake, they had left the rooms in a condition that was unacceptable,” Chesterman said, per Reuters. “It is a book as old as time: 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 rooms were not completely trashed in any way. [It’s] not the hardest thing to break the cardboard bed.”

Chesterman also said the life-sized emu and kangaroo, the team’s mascots, had been recovered after spending some time in Team Germany’s section of the Olympic Village.

“The kangaroo and emu mascots were missing and we were very pleased to say they have returned. It was a bit of a mystery. There was a bit of a search and (we) were about to post wanted signs,” Chesterman said. “It seems they enjoyed a pleasant holiday in Deutschland. The mascots enjoy holidays in the village from time to time. But we are very pleased they are back.”

In addition to acting out in Olympic Village, Rugby Australia also demonstrated “unacceptable behavior” on their flight home to Sydney with the Australian soccer team.

“It’s extremely disappointing but both Rugby and Football (governing bodies) have told me that such behavior is certainly not acceptable within their sports and have sincerely apologized to the Australian Olympic Team,” said Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll. “The CEOs have undertaken to take the appropriate action and report back to us. While there has been no formal complaint from the airline, unacceptable behavior was brought to our attention and I directly raised the issue with our member sports CEOs.”

The details of what exactly occurred on the flight have yet to emerge.

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