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.




  1. Elsewhere1010 says

    “WTF did they expect?”

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

  2. Chitown Kev says

    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.

  3. Robert says

    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?

  4. I wont grow up says

    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, BUT….you can’t hug your boyfriend or even whisper the word gay.

  5. Brian1 says


    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.

  6. JackFknTwist says

    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.

  7. Jerry says

    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).

  8. sdkfl says

    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.

  9. Regean says

    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.

  10. NotSafeForWork says

    @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?

  11. says

    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!

  12. anon says

    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.

  13. Tyler says

    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.

  14. fedorajoe says

    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!!!

  15. lukefromcanada says

    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.

  16. Hansel Currywurst says

    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.

  17. David From Canada says

    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……..!!…

  18. steve talbert says

    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.

  19. SpaceCadet says

    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!

  20. ST says

    @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.

  21. Billy says

    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

  22. Jude says

    I don’t see them (the journalists) really complaining about the conditions. I see all those pics and stories as them taking part in making fun of the trainwreck that this event is becoming. They mock it by revealing the magnitude of Russia’s failure.

    And remember, ridicule is a great weapon and many times very threatning and even scary to people like Putin. They need people to take them and their message seriously. Ridicule is a great way to undermine their power and they know that.

  23. Joey Y says

    Saying that Russia won WW2 so they are great is like saying the GOP is great because Lincoln freed the slaves. The GOP and Russia of today are NOTHING like the ones of yesteryear.

  24. Markt says

    A doorknob that works, water for basic use, and unlocking hall doors so that you can actually get to your room these are basic amenities for hotels around the world. They were told they had accommodations so they are not being divas when they arrive and actually don’t. They’re covering the Olympics not a civil war.

  25. Markt says

    A doorknob that works, water for basic use, and unlocking hall doors so that you can actually get to your room these are basic amenities for hotels around the world. They were told they had accommodations so they are not being divas when they arrive and actually don’t. They’re covering the Olympics not a civil war.

  26. disgusted american says

    well from the descriptions and pictures Ive seen at these games…..looks like Vlad and his cohorts have been “Pocketing” those BILLIONS supposedly spent on these Olympics….and somehow they’ll blame the gays for this disaster.

  27. andrew says

    @JOEY Y: You do know that the Russia of “yesteryear” that helped defeat Nazi Germany in WWII was a Stalinist dictatorship. Czar Putin, for all his evil ways, is like a juvenile delinquent or a street thug when compared to Stalin. Under Stalin millions of people were imprisoned, executed and starved to death in his attempt to communize the Soviet Union. He along with the likes of Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot is one of the most evil doers to have ever lived.

  28. Glen says

    Russia is the land of the pay off, bribe and buddy system. How do you think they all got billionaires so quickly? 51 billion? I bet 50 if it went into pockets…I mean it is not like they had 4 years to prepare…oh wait, they did.

  29. jamal49 says

    This does not look good. If the Sochi games fail (and it looks like Sochi is going to be a disaster for the Olympic games), we had better believe that Putin and his henchmen and the Russian Orthodox Church and the fascists and right-wing extremists are all going to blame gay people. And they will go after gay people with a murderous vengeance.

  30. says

    the journalist’s crack about “feeling like a Kardashian” from washing her face with Evian made me BLAST LAUGH.

    i’ve got journo buddies over there right now, and from what they’ve been texting me, it’s disaster central. the IOC’s decision to hold the games here will live in infamy….

  31. Grego says

    i’m curious what the going rate for a hotel room in the olympic village costs? Is there wifi?

  32. Todd says

    Here again the money went to incompetent corruption. This really could have shined for so many in Sochi. It would have opened the world to its existence and brought some much needed income. Instead, the Sochi residents were trampled on. The money spent never over seen. The biggest losers of the Sochi Olympics are the Sochi residents. So much money spent and little of it was spent on the local communities and let’s face it…long term…this will be another dying site in time.