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KAWAGOE, Japan – Some considered the athlete’s village at the Olympics an inconvenience. Not Carlos Ortiz.
While most of the golfers in this week’s Olympic men’s competition opted for accommodations closer to Kasumigaseki Country Club, which is located a little over an hour from the village, a few competitors, including Ortiz, traded a lengthy commute for the experience.
“I mean … the vans are comfortable. You take the time to relax, nap, talk. It’s fine. I don’t mind it,” said Ortiz, who is alone in second place after a second-round 67 on Friday. “Being at the village … outweighs that maybe extra 20, 30 minutes you’re going to be in the car.”
Like the other players who decided to stay in the village have expressed, Ortiz said the state-of-the-art facilities are worth the effort. The bigger draw for the 30-year-old, however, is his roommate.
He is sharing a room with Mexican light-heavyweight boxer Rogelio Romero.
“The other day he finished his fight and like, I’m waking up at 4 a.m., he’s coming back at 11 p.m., getting in the ice bath, waking up everybody and then we come out and he’s like, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m still running on adrenaline, I’m just trying to calm down,’” Ortiz said with a laugh. “You wouldn’t get that anywhere else. It’s fun. I’ve loved it so far.”
Romero had another fight scheduled for Friday evening in Tokyo, but luckily for the second-place Ortiz, he won’t have to wake up at 4 a.m. Saturday.