Olympics: A sneak peek at Singapore House - Team Singapore's 'home' in Rio

The Singapore House in Rio has been a roaring success. Team Singapore athletes have found the three-level bungalow-converted facility a haven to unwind and destress from the high pressure environment that comes with competing at the Summer Games.
The Olympic and Brazilian flags fly over the site of ancient Olympia during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Greece on April 21, 2016.
The Olympic and Brazilian flags fly over the site of ancient Olympia during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Greece on April 21, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - A preview of the Singapore House at the Rio Olympics was held at Pan Pacific Singapore on Tuesday and showcased what the Team Singapore athletes can expect when they touch down in Brazil in August.

Located 5km from the official Olympic Village in Rio - the athletes' main residence - the Singapore House is exclusive to the Singaporean contingent and provides athletes with round-the-clock holistic care as they compete in Brazil. It also serves as an alternate space for them to rest and recuperate.

Facilities within the Singapore House include 4 en-suites which accomodates more than 16 people, a consultation room for psychologists to conduct sessions, a kitchen and a mini-kitchen along with a dining hall. There will be also a gymnasium and a swimming pool available for the athletes.

The athletes will also be able to savour local delights in Brazil. Pan Pacific Singapore's executive sous chef Elson Cheong designed a menu that features 88 dishes, including local favourites such as chicken rice, laksa and mee siam - albeit healthier versions.

Cheong is experienced in preparing food for top athletes. He fed all the rugby players from the recent HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens in April. He also made meals for all the rugby and Billiards teams at last year's SEA Games.

"Thank you to the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) for giving me the chance to cook for these athletes. When we came up with the menu, we worked very closely with the SSI nutrionists. The concept of this menu actually comes from Singapore and our local food. We want to cook this Singapore food for the Singapore team to feel at home in Brazil," Cheong said.

Dr Richard Swinbourne, head and senior sport dietitian from SSI said: "In the career of any athlete, the provision of holistic support around their training is critical to helping them develop as an athlete. Sometimes, the provision of sports science input, including nutrition, makes all the difference in helping them achieve their career bests."

Dr Swinbourne, who joined the SSI two months ago, previously worked for the New Zealand Rugby Union for seven years. He served as the high-performance nutrionist for the All Blacks Sevens team and also worked with the Hurricanes Super Rugby team.