- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
Despite billions of dollars having been poured into the Olympic Village and infrastructure of Sochi, the conditions for visiting journalists are rustic to the extreme.
STORY: Sochi Olympics: ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap Says It Will be ‘Guerrilla Journalism’
The 2014 Winter Olympics don’t even officially begin until Friday, with the opening ceremony airing tape delayed on NBC at 7.30 p.m. EST, but the games are already starting off on a sour note.
With light bulbs, WiFi, door handles — and even the doors themselves — noticeably absent from many hotels housing the media, members of the press are sharing their horror stories on Twitter.
STORY: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill Reteaming for Atlanta Olympics Drama
An estimated $51 billion was invested into turning the “Russian Riviera” from a summer resort into a winter destination, but construction was repeatedly hampered by heavy rain, leaving sodden building sites and resulting in only six of the nine media hotels being fully operational.
Here are some of the best — or worst — reports from ground zero in Sochi detailing the challenging conditions amid the chaos.
Dan Wetzel, from Yahoo! Sports, is willing to barter three light bulbs for a door handle, and may even throw in a stray dog if you’re lucky.
To anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for a door handle. This offer is real: pic.twitter.com/7AeesqDi8Y
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) February 4, 2014
Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair‘s tweet has already gone viral, and not simply because she was scared she might get poisoned by the water.
My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, “do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.” #Sochi2014
— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014
ESPN.com’s Bonnie D. Ford was surprised to come back to her “baracks” and find the door wide open (but at least she had a door).
Update from #Sochi2014 barracks: Arrived back at my room and found door like this: (Clue: I didn’t leave it that way) pic.twitter.com/ey5tacsMqc
— Bonnie D. Ford (@Bonnie_D_Ford) February 4, 2014
Harry Reekie, for CNN, booked their media rooms “five months ago” but clearly didn’t specify that it had functioning blinds, and described the whole scene as, in “shambles.”
This is the one hotel room @Sochi2014 have given us so far. Shambles. #cnnsochi pic.twitter.com/RTjEkmyan3
— Harry Reekie (@HarryCNN) February 4, 2014
Shaun Walker, from the Guardian, was awakened at 6 a.m. with an emergency alert at his hotel, and while the terrifying alert turned out to be a false alarm, he was quickly reminded how atrocious his accommodations are.
No emergency situation in the end, except the obvious & continuing one of how shit this hotel is! Waited in cold for 15min then back to bed
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) February 5, 2014
Got back to hotel. Lift broken after half day in use. Trekked up stairs. Door to my floor (that’d be the fire door) locked. Utter farce.
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) February 4, 2014
Washington Post writer Liz Clarke mocked the Sochi motto.
Official motto of #Sochi2014 is “Hot. Cool. Yours.” After 2 days, I vote for “Not. Working. Yet.” So much here is half-built or out-of-order
— Liz Clarke (@lizclarketweet) February 4, 2014
Meanwhile, sports columnist Bruce Arthur‘s dinner menu item really says it all.
Technically, eventually correct RT @DLSpencer10: Menu item my 1st night in Sochi or I’m really out of it. pic.twitter.com/pyVx2hszph
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) February 4, 2014
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day