The Sports Desk: Sochi

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Nick Nunn, Nunnsense

Nick Nunn, Nunnsense

By Nick Nunn, Columnist

During the past week, I’ve really been struggling with how I should deal with some of the recent developments involving some of journalists and media figures covering the Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.

I mean, when you’ve got stray dogs patrolling newly built hotels, which can only deliver brown water to the far-too-few available rooms, does that deserve to go to Nunnsense or the sports section?

Since I found a fair topic for Nunnsense, the favor was tipped toward sports, so here it is. First of all, Russian officials should have considered this thought – and its logical implications – while considering which construction projects to fast-track: what group of visitors coming to the Olympics are going to be able to communicate their displeasure with the lack of completion, particularly concerning lodging?

The simple answer: media outlets! If the members of the media are unhappy, you’d better bet your bottom dollar that they’re going to talk about it. Heck, if it rains too much during one week, I won’t be able to fight the impulse to complain about it in print.

When only six of the nine hotels devoted for media outlets were “complete” by the time journalists began to arrive, what kind of buzz did Russian officials expect to generate around the world?

Social media gripes from journalists cover everything from no water and undrinkable water to having to tear out of the bathroom in their own room once the door decided to lock itself with an occupant inside.

My favorite unique amenity, however, is the photo of Putin by the beds. I wonder what trying to go to sleep beside that every night is like. Supposedly, dogs roam the streets and the halls of the hotels, and there are manholes on newly constructed walkways have no covers.

I have no idea what personal injury law is like in Russia, but I wouldn’t bank on being able to sue for damages if you fell into an open manhole.

Furthermore, environmental organizations have voiced concerns that the breakneck pace of construction at Sochi – which, as I’ve pointed out, still hasn’t kept them on schedule – might have caused significant environmental damage.

Of course, there has now been some public backlash against the journalists’ complaints, with others accusing them of being pampered and ungrateful. What?!?

The entirety of the Winter Olympics is a 16-day event that has cost the Russian government well over $50,000,000,000!

If you are spending that much on less than three weeks and you can’t manage it well enough to get appropriate lodging complete, maybe the Olympics aren’t for you.

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