Sochi Is Hilariously Unprepared to Host the Winter Olympics (Photos)
Let’s start with the good news: the main athletic complex and all the venues for the 2014 Winter Olympics seem to be sparkling and ready to go, and they certainly look impressive.
From there, however, it’s all downhill.
The Athlete’s Village? That’s ready. But the Olympians had better not be expecting deluxe accommodations. The rooms are clean but extremely cramped. A Canadian journalist got to take a look at one of the rooms the Canadian men’s hockey team will be using, and let’s just say it’s no Four Seasons. Hell, it’s not even a Best Western.
Athletes probably shouldn’t complain, though. The journalists and tourists are the ones who are going to have it really rough. About a third of the hotels that were supposed to be built for the Games are incomplete and uninhabitable, while the majority of the others stretch the definition of inhabitable well beyond what most of us would be comfortable with.
Here’s how Canadian journalist Bruce Arthur described the situation:
Almost every room is missing something: lightbulbs, TVs, lamps, chairs, curtains, wifi, heat, hot water. Shower curtains are a valuable piece of the future black market here. (One American photographer was simply told, ‘You will not get a shower curtain.’)
Outside the Chistya Prudy [Hotel], there is a bag of concrete in a palm tree, leaking grey down the trunk. Inside, some of the electrical outlets are just plates screwed into drywall.
Sports Illustrated’s Brian Cazeneuve had to clamber through a window to get out of his hotel on Tuesday morning, since the doors were all unexpectedly locked. Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun was without electricity for the first day.
My Postmedia colleague Cam Cole’s bathtub came loose from the wall, and therefore rocks like a ship. He has a shower curtain, though.
Meanwhile, Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair was told not to use the hotel water on her face “because it contains something very dangerous.” Then she tweeted this:
Also, it seems the newly built Sochi sewer system can not handle toilet paper, which kinda caught Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski by surprise:
As for the rest of Sochi, even the places that are “finished” are missing something…like manhole covers:
And once you get a little outside the main area, you kinda can’t miss the huge garbage dumps:
Let the games begin!