Winter Olympics Woes: Poor conditions and Ongoing Construction


As world renowned athletes and reporters continue to arrive in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, they may not find the same amenities and facilities they’re used to. Amid continued debate on whether Sochi is ready for one of the biggest events of the year, people from around the world are seeing for themselves if the horror stories are true–to their dismay.

Don’t drink the water, don’t flush the toilet, and don’t expect to have a good night’s rest. These are just some of the strange warnings seen at Russia’s Winter Olympics. More and more people checking into their unfinished hotels have discovered there won’t be much to look forward to.

Some journalists in Sochi are describing appalling conditions in the housing, where only six of nine media hotels are fully operational. Water, if there is any, isn’t even drinkable, as one journalist shared via Twitter pictures of cloudy, yellow water from her sink. Another German photographer had to switch rooms three times after his hotel still had stray dogs and construction workers wandering in and out of the rooms.

National Post sportswriter Bruce Arthur described the scene: “Almost every room is missing something: lightbulbs, TVs, lamps, chairs, curtains, Wi-Fi, heat, hot water. Shower curtains are a valuable piece of the future black market here.”

Others were greeted with a hilarious diagram offering the proper use of the bathroom facilities.

Another problem many journalists face is overbooking of rooms. CNN booked eleven rooms five months ago, only to find one room available. Canada’s hockey team was also incredibly cramped with three NHL players to a room better suited for college students than professional athletes.

This disarray seems to contradict the many promises from both Russian and Olympic officials that they’re ready for the games.  While they have been marketing to the world a wonderful and prepared event, those inside are telling a very different story. Hopefully, the games will live up to its hype, but it’s an uphill battle for now.

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