Sochi: Are We Putin Up With Too Much?

The International Olympic Committee must be an interesting place.

In fact, they seem to be bent on making a lot more news than any two week Olympics can accommodate.

There was the odd exclusion of Baseball from the 2012 London Games.

There was subsequent announcement that wrestling, iconic Olympic sport that it is, would cease to be a part of the games. Meanwhile, Dressage, which I hesitate to even call a sport, is still going strong.

There were suspected biases on the committee, there were controversies over medals, there were Ice Skating accolades that were improperly awarded.

In sort, the committee has presided over a multitude of head scratching decisions.

And then there was Sochi.

Why Sochi? Surely they had many excellent reasons.

Perhaps the lack of infrastructure made it especially desirable.

Perhaps it was the snow friendly average temperature of 48 degrees.

Maybe it was those Gay Propaganda laws that everyone loves.

Maybe the Olympic committee just can’t get enough of their good friend Vladimir Putin.

At any rate, due to some logic that the majority of the western world is incapable of deciphering, Sochi is 2014’s hot new destination. Emphasis on hot.

The Olympics are risking a shortage of their most important commodity—snow. Russia promises they’ll make enough if it doesn’t naturally occur, and maybe it will all work out.

Either way, NBC’s blimp shots will certainly suffer.

The even bigger problem, which becomes very clear after you visit any Olympic reporters Twitter page, are the accommodations.

It appears that Sochi was little better than a seaside slum before their moment in the spotlight. It also appears that Russia should have started the necessary renovations a few years earlier.

From the sounds of it, there isn’t a single hotel room in the city that has all the necessary amenities. Some are missing WiFi, others lights. Shower curtains are a rarity, and the beds would make Josh Hutcherson feel like Shaquille O’Neal.

Oh and the water, don’t drink it. According to one hotel, if it touches someone’s face their health will be at risk. It’s roughly the color of lemonade.

There are two toilets a stall in many cases. Because somehow that was deemed appropriate. And Wayne Gretzky posted a shocking photo of sign on a toilet notifying the user to not flush toilet paper.

To make up for such an absence, a small metal box was kindly provided.

In short, Sochi is a lot like a cruise ship disaster on land. It has no working amenities, the beds are on par for Bag End, the sewer systems are incapable of handling toilet paper, and whatever comes out of the tap isn’t much better than what comes from the sewer.

The Olympic Village was still under construction fourteen days before the opening ceremony.

Don’t forget those propaganda laws either; they’re the center of a massive controversy.

At this point, I’m almost afraid to mention that the greatest problem is the massive security threat.

It’s not just the possibility of a terrorist attack, there’s stray dogs that need to be killed, suspects rounded up, a military dictatorship has sprung up in Sochi for the time being.

So yeah, it’s a pretty great Olympics.

It seems impossible that the Olympic Committee could mess up this bad. There must have been corruption, bribery, an imminent threat from Putin. How else could we explain this?

At this rate they’ll be holding the Summer Olympics in some massive city with dangerous slums were only ten percent of murders are solved. Wait a second.

But it is after all the Olympics, a time of international unity and thrilling human achievement. Let’s try to enjoy what this bizarre Olympics has to offer.

Now if we could just find some snow.




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