Sochi problems: foreign media share Winter Olympic woes

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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If Twitter is your guide, then the hordes of media assembled in the Black Sea resort of Sochi for the Winter Olympics are mostly interested in the state of their hotels.

The last few days have seen hundreds of tweets, most but not all tapped more in amusement than anger, describing and depicting oddly unfinished rooms, facilities and roads, and unusual menu listings.

Mashable summarises:

Instead of snowboarding, we’ve seen putrid tap water. Instead of skiing, we’ve seen dilapidated hotel rooms still under construction. Instead of bobsledding, we’ve seen toilets that can’t flush paper. And that’s not even mentioning the journalist who took to Twitter in hopes of trading three light bulbs (precious commodities at his hotel) for a door handle.


Indeed, the Twitter account @SochiProblems, which collects it all, has in the last few hours overtaken the follower count of the official Twitter presence, @Sochi2014, and is now closing in on 200,000. Nobody tell Vladimir Putin.


But not everyone is joining in the wave of wry exasperation. The sports journalists get a pretty good ticking off, for example, by war reporter Margaret Coker in the Wall Street Journal.

It begins:

Dear comrade journalist

So far, much of the news you’ve reported out of Sochi has concerned the inadequacy of your lodgings. Apparently, before you left on your Olympics assignment, you didn’t get the memo: Life and work assignments in non-Western countries can be a challenge.

I know that my fellow Mideast correspondents, not to mention the refugees we meet from places like Syria and Iraq, can concur that having to make do with the same hotel shampoo for two days running is unacceptable. We also would dearly love if that were the leading item on the list of why our jobs and lives are hard.

A faulty fire alarm at 5 a.m.? Well, look on the bright side: your hotel has a working fire alarm. At the hotels in Baghdad where the journalist corps lived after the U.S. invasion in 2003, the alarms we worried about were for fire fights raging outside on the street.

See also: Tripadvisaaargh – hotel nightmares
Homophobia in Russia under scrutiny in leadup to Sochi games
Russian milk provokes “gay vice”

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