Banyana Banyana settling in well at Olympic Village in Rio


The squad landed in the South American city in the early hours of morning before taking a 45-minute drive to the Village.

Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk says her side are soaking in the sights and sounds of Brazil already, which is a dream come true.

“It is amazing, the vibe is incredible,” she said. “We see beautiful colours with Rio 2016 logos everywhere. There are also flags of the different countries on the village blocks.

"This is what makes what I have been waiting and working so hard for feel like a dream come true, I am really living my dream and embracing every moment of it all - a moment I will forever cherish.

With eight days to go before the opening match against Sweden, Van Wyk says they are taking it one step at a time.

“The nerves haven't settled in just yet,” she said. “I think once we have played New Zealand in the warm up match things will start to feel a bit different and the tension and anxiousness will definitely increase."

South Africa and New Zealand will face off in their final preparation match on Thursday, 28 July in Rio.

All the players selected into the Banyana Banyana squad are staying in the Village, including the four additional players who are on standby – they will only be eligible to play when there is an injury among the official 18.

The additional players are goalkeeper Kaylin Swart, defender Nomathemba Ntsibande, midfielder Thembi Kgatlana and striker Chantell Esau.

Meanwhile the Olympic Village is expected to house about ten-thousand-five-hundred athletes, watched by about seven-thousand staff members.

The compound is set among tennis courts, football fields, seven swimming pools while the mountains and the sea can be seen in the background.

The dining hall is a huge place that is as large is three football field and officials expect to serve sixty-thousand meals a day to Olympians and staff.

Organisers say the compound has ten-thousand-one hundred and sixty-rooms with eighteen-thousand beds, seven Laundromats, an enormous hospital-like clinic, as well as a massive gym.