News | Russia | Sochi Olympics

B.Y.O. Bulbs and Doorknobs: Sochi Stay Starts Off as Disaster for Journalists



If this was Russian President Vladimir Putin's idea of a joke, members of the media arriving to cover the Winter Olympics in Sochi were not amused.

Journalists arrived in the resort town this week to disaster. Many of their hotels seemed to be unfinished, and those that were came without lightbulbs, shower curtains, chairs, door knobs and sometimes... hot water.

If you asked the International Olympic Committee, it would say 24,000 rooms were delivered, and "97 percent" didn't have issues.

Maybe Sochi just has a "bring your own doorknobs" policy no one bothered to read up about.



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  1. What a bunch of divas. It's fuc_ing Russia. WTF did they expect?

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Feb 5, 2014 7:01:27 PM

  2. "WTF did they expect?"

    The same amenities you'd find in a one-star hotel in Bayswater, rather than a 19th century peasant hut.

    Posted by: Elsewhere1010 | Feb 5, 2014 7:07:59 PM

  3. These Olympics are fast turning into a full-fledged disaster for Russia...and I think this is going to get a lot worse.

    I would expect much much much better than this.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Feb 5, 2014 7:18:18 PM

  4. Is this sort of thing to be expected? I mean, didn't they have the frickin' Olympics in Sarajevo? Are we all just overly critical of everything now, or is it actually worse?

    Posted by: Robert | Feb 5, 2014 7:21:49 PM

  5. It's perfectly ok if your water looks like a urine sample, your room doesn't have a door and if it does have one it won't have a handle, your bed doesn't have a pillow, the food looks like buffet night at the Golden Corral, can't hug your boyfriend or even whisper the word gay.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Feb 5, 2014 7:25:03 PM

  6. @notsafeforwork

    They had every right to expect something dramatically better, especially because it's Russia. It's a totalitarian state run by an egomaniac with unlimited amounts of money at his disposal. They had a decade to make this place a showpiece for the world's media, and Putin spent insane amounts of money on this turkey. I would not want to be remotely associated with this when it's all over and Putin can exact his revenge for this disaster.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Feb 5, 2014 7:27:03 PM

  7. Channel 4 Documentary "Dispatches" had an investigative programme to night called 'Hunted'. About how gangs lured gays and then tortured, humiliated and beat them up.

    It made me cry.
    The police do nothing.
    They constantly and deliberately associate gays with paedophiles.....they say that of the 28 gays who answered their entrapment, all were paedophiles, and all but two were gay. That's what these sickos spout.

    I would love to see these games fall flat as a pancake.....and I agree with those posters above.....this is going to be one serious trainwreck.......but Fascist Putin will behave like a cornered rat.....he will be even more vicious.
    That's why I cried for the future of all the gays in Russia.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 5, 2014 7:32:38 PM

    After spending $51 BILLION dollars on Olympic infrastructure that every other host city would have been expected to have in place before submitting a bid? I dunno, but $51 BILLION worth of SOMETHING.

    Yes, Sarajevo. BEFORE the civil war (1984), not AFTER (1992, that year's winter games were in Albertville). Most of the infrastructure created for those winter games was damaged in the conflict, in fact (the places that weren't converted to graveyards, anyway).

    Posted by: Jerry | Feb 5, 2014 7:48:59 PM

  9. The only one that doesn't surprise me is toilet paper you can't flush -- I've encountered this is many places that I've traveled. It's not exactly modern, though, so you'd think that they would have had this covered.

    Posted by: sdkfl | Feb 5, 2014 7:49:37 PM

  10. Gays are being baited, kidnapped, humiliated, tortured, mutilated, and murdered, and it seems hardly anyone but gays who go online seem to know about it... But HOTEL conditions are lousy..? Heaven forfend and tell everyone!

    @ JackFknTwist I didn't have the opportunity to see the documentary, but I knew it would be playing today and it has been a lump in my heart all day. Since I and no one else here can give you a hug, if you can extract one from a loved one. :-)
    I sincerely hope this documentary raises awareness and elevates consciousness so that people become aware that this isn't 'just about some harmless censorship laws that gays are feeling bad about.'

    I must admit that despite my cringing a bit at the journalists' complaining, considering what's going on for gays there, I'm glad to see Russia/Sochi falling flat on its face in multiple respects.

    Posted by: Regean | Feb 5, 2014 8:17:14 PM

  11. @Everyone who is outraged:

    Common sense would dictate that being Russia, this type of fiscal/official/moral irresponsibility is going to happen. IMO, it's a non issue considering the other issues facing the decision to hold the Olympics there.

    Maybe these journalists should report about the LGBT human rights atrocities instead of broken curtain rods and crappy breakfast buffets?

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Feb 5, 2014 8:33:47 PM

  12. I wish y'all would stop with these attacks on Russia. It is a great country. . . Remember, they won World War II.

    Despite making a few mistakes I support Pres. Putin, a strong leader that Russia needs right now. . .
    Best of luck to all the athletes in Sochi!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 5, 2014 8:36:25 PM

  13. Oh, Mother Russia.

    Let the games begin.

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 5, 2014 8:46:33 PM

  14. They don't call it a kleptocracy for nothing! Disgruntled worker stealing stuff. Check. Lazy worker takes stuff from one room to "finish" another. Check. Inspections paid off. Check. Permits paid off. Check. Orders filled incorrectly to swindle money out of deal. Check. Then there are all the honest mistakes, like workers that don't speak the same language, haphazard work schedule changes and poor training, pay and work conditions.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2014 8:50:35 PM

  15. Lol Rick is impersonating LittleKiwi again. But he does it so poorly at it's obvious to anyone and everyone that it is an imposter. Rick is probably in favor of the propaganda laws in Russia. After all, he hates the visibility of male homosexuality. Almost as much as he hates women.

    Posted by: Tyler | Feb 5, 2014 8:55:52 PM

  16. Russia is a cesspool that only dreams of standing beside the Western democracies. I hope every member of the Olympic committee gets scabies while there, it's the least they deserve. What a joke this Olympics has become! My sympathy to the common Russian people who live this (and much worse) on a daily basis!!!

    Posted by: fedorajoe | Feb 5, 2014 9:05:28 PM

  17. They had 5 years and have spend over 50 BILLION on this. Even though I was not expecting much, this is sad even for russia. But this is Putin's legacy and he deserves everything that is coming to him.

    Posted by: lukefromcanada | Feb 5, 2014 9:15:19 PM

  18. On the bright side, the bee proves the honey is real and not honey-flavored High Fructose Corn Syrup. So maybe it's intentional, like leaving pig hairs on fried pork rinds.

    Let's see how the 2016 Summer Games go in Rio. As a portent, the roof of one of their 2014 World Cup venues recently collapsed, killing two workers.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Feb 5, 2014 9:20:15 PM

  19. I've been viewing these hilarious stories and photos from journalists in Sochi all day. So bad that they're funny. This could be made into a T.V. situation comedy. Something like a modern day version of "I Love Lucy". Calling Fred and Ethel Mertz........!!...

    Posted by: David From Canada | Feb 5, 2014 9:45:12 PM

  20. Lesson 1: do not piss off gay catering staff.

    Lesson 2: the bee means that the honey is natural.

    Lesson 3: natural is not a good thing in Russia.

    Posted by: steve talbert | Feb 5, 2014 10:00:08 PM

  21. This is what you get when you award the Olympics to a Third World country.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 5, 2014 10:34:06 PM

  22. I would love to visit Rio in 2016 for the summer Olympics and am planning on it. It is very gay-friendly there. And the men are hot!

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Feb 5, 2014 10:57:08 PM

  23. @Andrew. Russia is not a Third World country, it is a Second World country (if we're going to use outdated terminology). In fact, most Third World countries to host games of this kind actually do a better job. Just look at Malaysia and the Commonwealth Games, which are bigger than the winter olympics - they were carried out perfectly. Russia is simply a backwards nation full of people who are crying out for better, but who are held back by an autocratic system run by idiots to benefit few at the expense of many.

    Posted by: ST | Feb 5, 2014 11:57:38 PM

  24. It looks pretty dreadful. I may just tune in to watch this trainwreck unfold.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 6, 2014 12:18:59 AM

  25. Please keep posting things like this I simply enjoyed reading this. Terrible as it may sound was very entertaining!

    The amenities they are lacking I had when visiting Haiti 2 years ago and I wasn't staying in a hotel but a small hospital in a rural part of Haiti. Lol

    Posted by: Billy | Feb 6, 2014 12:27:19 AM

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