The Sochi Winter Olympics – Dangerous Water, Pillows, and maybe Sports

The Sochi Winter Olympics – Dangerous Water, Pillows, and maybe Sports

Yesterday the sports part officially got started in Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.  There is now team figure skating (I have no idea what the logic behind that is), a handful of new medal events (slopestyle, which is a new sport in snowboarding, is now an event), and the official opening ceremony will be later today.  This is the first time that Russia has hosted the Olympic Games since the fall of the Soviet Union (the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow), and but for Vladimir Putin schmoozing the IOC, these games would be most likely taking place in Salzburg, Austria (the other runner-up was Pyeongchang, South Korea, which ended up being awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics).


After the initial flurry of bad PR out of Sochi, I’m sure the IOC might be rethinking that decision.  Here are just a few things that are making Sochi look silly and unprepared:

– The media hotels are unfinished, and lack a lot of amenities.  Like, say, safe drinking water.  The ability to flush toilet paper.  Shower curtains.  And that’s if you even HAVE a hotel room.  But don’t worry!  Russian officials who are in charge of the Olympic preparations say that the western press is totally exaggerating – because they have cameras in the hotel bathrooms and KNOW that they work!  And they will know if the media keeps complaining, because anyone who uses public wifi in Sochi will automatically be hacked.

– The now-widespread news that the stray dogs of Sochi are being rounded up to be euthanized.

– The pretty well-established fact that this will be the most expensive Olympics ever – thanks to the rampant corruption that has taken their cut of the money.  In fact, the rumor now exists that the Games themselves are now so underfunded that the government has been getting pillows for the athletes from Sochi residents.

– There is a terror threat in Sochi, and now all liquids are being banned on flights to Russia because of reports that terrorists may try to use chemicals, concealed in toothpaste tubes, to construct a “dirty bomb” to bring a passenger jet down.

Vladimir Putin is heavily invested in making the Sochi Games a success in the eyes of the world.  But so far, the biggest stories out of Sochi so far have nothing to do with sports.  Hopefully, that will change as the opening ceremony goes forward and more competitions are held, but the warnings of chess champion Garry Kasparov should warn us all about how the image of Sochi really is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

I hope the journalists in Sochi complaining about a lack of doorknobs & wifi pay as much attention to the lack of free speech & elections.

In two weeks Games will be over & journos will go home w funny stories. Russians will be left with mess, debt, & the same crooks & thugs.

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  • ALman says:

    Did you get the news of the toilet situation? Among other items, one is not to flush toilet tissue. Rather, a trash can is provided. I hope the link provided works. Some curious signs about what to do and not to do with the toilet. I especially like the one that fishing is not allowed.

  • Merle says:

    What, surely you jest! Corruption in Russia? It boggles the mind!


  • I hope the journalists in Sochi complaining about a lack of doorknobs & wifi pay as much attention to the lack of free speech & elections.

    Probably not. Too many Western journalists see their mission as ramming one-party welfare state fascism down our throats. In their minds nothing else matters.

    The only way these journalists will report on the lack of free speech and elections in Russia if if they somehow conclude it will help the Progressive Cause. Thus the complete freak-out by the Western media about Russia’s “anti-gay” laws. Forcing the gay agenda on the rest of us is important to the Western media; corruption and a lack of freedom in Russia are not. Progressivism Uber Alles!

  • Dana says:

    Игры были присуждены Сочи в 2007 г. Россия уже почти семь лет в готовься к этому. Они должны были сделать лучше.

  • Dana says:

    That said, 🙂 , NBC is doing its best to make the coverage about politics. Bob Costas had a short interview with President Obama last night, opened with politics — a question concerning the lack of high ranking Administration personnel attending the games — and President Obama, to his credit, said that the games were about sports and the athletes. So, what did Mr Costas do? He tried to turn it right back to politics, with a question about homosexuality.

    At that point, I changed the channel.

    • ALman says:

      While back, there was a song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” If I were a song writer, I’d write one “Where Has All the Fun Gone?” I swear (yes, yes I really do!). Where’s all the fun? Being assaulted with commercials, with politics, with PC-ness, and with everything else but the game! I’d rather watch a pie-baking (yes, you got that right: pie-baking) contest than to watch a bunch of over-paid athletes whine about being injured in a sport they know it’s possibility. Or, to listen to the incessant blathering of people like Costas. Keep changing the channel, Dana. Maybe, some day they’ll get the message.

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