Sochi Games set to be a shocker

ninemsn staff
3:29pm February 5, 2014
February 05, 2014: Winter athletes have expressed their disappointment with the bare-bones basicness of their Sochi Olympics lodgings.

It's incredible what $58 billion won't buy you these days.

An alarming video of a walk-through of the rooms in the Athletes' Village at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics shows the money already spent by the Russian Government has left much to be desired.

The video shows two astounded officials examining their lodgings, bewildered by the lack of furniture and basic creature comforts.

Will the organisers get everything together in time? Or will the Sochi Winter Olympics shape up to be a farce? Let us know what you think here.

The officials are heard saying the room is a typical example of what is on offer in the Olympic Village.

It is not certain how much was spent on each room, but its austere décor suggests the Russians have taken a minimalist approach in decorating this village.

Bad turns to worse in Sochi
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In this room the athletes get beds and chairs — but there is no table or much of anything else.

If the room looks cold and uninhabitable that might be because it is, with numerous reports surfacing about hotel rooms not having heating, TVs, WiFi or drinkable water.

During her hotel's water hiatus, Chicago Tribune journalist Stacy St Clair said the front desk warned her not to "use (the hotel's water) on your face because it contains something very dangerous".

When the water in her hotel room was restored, St Clair tweeted a photo of the dubious yellow liquid coming from her taps.

Read more: Putin's girlfriend selected to light the Olympic cauldron.

St Clair's troubles are hardly uncommon with many foreign journalists sharing images and stories about every hotel room in the city having at least one thing inside either unfinished or broken.

The BBC's Acting Moscow Bureau Chief Kevin Bishop shared this welcoming image of his hotel's lobby which has 'no floor' (Twitter).
The BBC's Acting Moscow Bureau Chief Kevin Bishop shared this welcoming image of his hotel's lobby which has 'no floor' (Twitter).

On Monday New York Times reporter David Segal described the still a-work-in-progress Sochi as looking "at least a dozen all-nighters away from completion".

"There are unfinished hotels, half-finished stores and a mall where the only shop that is open and thriving is a Cinnabon," Segal wrote.

Russia has flushed an estimated $58 billion on the Games so far — London is believed to have spent only $16.5 billion on the Summer Olympics in 2012 — and there are countless critics who have accused the government of cronyism and corruption.

With the Games due to open on Friday, some of the biggest news has centred on what you can and can't do in the bathrooms at the games.

Following reporting of a peculiar set of instructions on the "dos and don'ts" of toilet use yesterday, the other news coming out of the Black Sea ski resort town today are new signs asking athletes and visitors not to flush their toilet paper down the loo.

"Put it in the bin provided," the instructions read.

The sign says 'Please do not flush toilet paper down the toilet. Put it in the bin provided' (Twitter).
The sign says 'Please do not flush toilet paper down the toilet. Put it in the bin provided' (Twitter).

Such requests for how people handle their paper work are not unheard of in Olympic villages, but the real question for the visitors who follow the rules might be "is anyone going to pick up the garbage?"

Sources: New York Times, Washington Post
Author: Nicholas McCallum, Approving editor: Nick Pearson

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