Will the Sochi Olympics Be a Massive Shitstorm? Possibly a Literal One?

$51 billion doesn't buy much plumbing, apparently


We prefer the word "intimate" rather than "gross."

The Washington Post is getting lots of page views and shares of a piece they put together yesterday afternoon aggregating reporters arriving to cover the Sochi Olympics only to discover their quarters are not exactly ready.

What starts as a list of simple, not unusual problems for venues just finishing up – rooms not ready, fallen curtains, et cetera – quickly descends into a hilarious parade of horribles – no electricity, no water, no doors, no heat, no lobby, no floor. The most expensive Olympics in history, ladies and gentlemen!

Over at Grantland, Katie Baker reports on the scene on some of her own experiences, as well as stories that she's heard:

I had yet to eat my breakfast this morning when someone regaled me with a story about a guy staying up in Sochi's mountaintop media hotel cluster who turned on his faucet and watched as sewage spilled out. Last night, a colleague returned to her room after a long day of work to find the door swung open, a set of keys still dangling from the lock. Nothing was stolen, but a TV had finally been installed. It could have been worse: The door to one guy's room was supposedly kicked down by workers trying to put in a cable box.

The tales from the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics go on and on: hotel reservations vanishing, shower rods and curtains nowhere to be found, workers heaving small decorative palm trees off the back of a moving truck and onto the side of the road like paperboys on bicycles.

I arrived at my hotel at the same time as a friendly journalist from Montreal, and when we got to our adjacent rooms (both supposedly temporary until our real rooms are ready), his door handle broke off in his hand. His first souvenir! My bathroom has red Sharpie marks delineating where additional construction should have gone, an unidentified device was attached high up on the wall with masking tape, and there was no caulking. But my hot water works, my pillow is fantastic, and I have lightbulbs, which places me in the top percentile of accommodation privilege. Stacy St. Clair had no water in her room and was told by a receptionist to avoid it even if restored: "Do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous." (A quick side note on the sphinxlike front desk clerks, by the way: I am legitimately infatuated with their unparalleled ability to deliver bad news.)

Baker, though, suspects that once the games actually begin, much of the complaints from journalists will die down as they focus on the actual games. She says the actual venues are beautiful (did she check to make sure they had floors?) and the mood there is festive. We'll just have to wait to see if the opening ceremonies are interrupted by a power outage or if those wacky double-toilets start spewing out geysers of waste.

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  1. Guys it’s pretty clear that they built the public bathrooms with no partitions to eliminate the possibility of turning them into glory holes.

    1. I thought that was completely obvious.

    2. I hadn’t even thought of that. Why would they want to ruin the olympic experience so?

      1. How could you not have thought of that, but I immediately did? Oh my god, I really am the gayest monster since gay came to Gaytown.

        Dee Reynolds: Why would you want to have sex with someone you can’t see?

        Dennis Reynolds: Well, Dee. I think the real question is: why wouldn’t you want to have sex with someone you can’t see?

        1. Have you seen the doritos commercial?

          1. What Doritos commercial? I don’t watch commercials, I have this thing called a “TiVo”.

            1. Have you tried Tivo’s out of home streaming yet?

              1. That requires a Roamio (I just recently bought a Premeire, so fuck that) or some other additional device, so…no. I don’t really need that anyway; if I’m out, I read on my Kindle.

                1. They enabled it for premieres in 2014.

                  I tried watching my shows in Hawaii, not enough bandwidth…

                  Tivo Stream (the device is around $100, no monthly) is supposed to work with android devices sometime in the 1st q 2014, otherwise you have to use an Apple device. I have a waterproof case for my iPad, and it’s awesome to use in the hot tub….

                  I wouldn’t say I “need” it either, but that’s true of most of my toys.

            2. TiVo, what is this? 2002?

              1. Tivo made a huge comeback circa 2007. I can stream shows downloaded from usenet to my Tivo using pytivo, and I can extract recorded shows from the Tivo a number of different ways.

                Oh, and I modified the hard drives on my Tivos so that I can store about 1000 hours of HD content.

                I should buy some Tivo stock.

                1. Bro, do you even MythTV?

                  …to be fair, it’s kind of a PITA.

                  1. If I were single and lived in an apartment, I would. Now, I have a media closet.

                2. Good luck with that, some quick research shows that TiVo subcribers peaked in 2006 is about half of that now. My UVerse has come with a dvr as part of the service for over 6 years now. Couldn’t imagine paying extra for TiVo in addition. Right now I’m up to being able to record or watch 4 HD streams at once. It probably doesn’t hold 1000 hrs but its certainly more than I need.

                3. Well and my TV itself can already stream shows from my laptop. I’m just not sure what extra services TiVo provides, even with user hacks like you (which most subscribers won’t be doing).

              2. Kindle, what is this? 2013?

        2. Yeah, I had thought we were always joking about that, but you do seem to have out-gayed me today.

          1. I win!

          2. Nah. He just outwhored you.

            1. He outwhored me in the category gloryholes. Doesn’t that double dip as out-gaying as well?

    3. Yeah, a full blown orgy is much better.

      1. If you have too many people in a bathroom it looks suspicious when someone shows up to use it and three people pour out. In a perfect world these bathrooms would be down a long hallway with a noisy doorway so that folks would have plenty of notification that someone was coming, or two doors.

        These bathrooms could maybe be appropriate for quicky two-somes.

        1. A shocking lack of imagination for you 🙂

          1. Meh, my town posted the names, mugshots, home towns and dates of birth of 18 people who were arrested for bathroom sex two years ago. I like my sex in non-standard places as much as anyone, but I’m habitually overly cautious about it.

            Hilariously the city is getting sued by one of the guys because he claims he was there keeping an eye on an autistic kid and not cruising the bathroom.

      2. The Olympic Village is pretty much an orgy as people begin to finish their events.

  2. …workers heaving small decorative palm trees off the back of a moving truck and onto the side of the road like paperboys on bicycles.

    Not only are paperboys on bicycles heavy, but they are also as bulky as decorative palm trees.

    1. this is a very good point

      +1 internets to you, sir

    2. “TWO DOLLARS!”

      1. Aaaaaaaaa….

  3. “I….AM….in a world…of shit ….”

    /Private Pyle

  4. The door to one guy’s room was supposedly kicked down by workers trying to put in a cable box.

    That sounds like a quintessentially Russian way of accomplishing a task.

    1. In Soviet Russia, cable box installs YOU!

      1. The uptick in those jokes may be the worst thing about these Olympics.

        1. In Russie, jokes uptick YOU!

          1. In glorious mother Russia, lord of the former and future glorious Soviet Union, Olympics medal YOU.

        2. They have a lot of competition in that category.

        3. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of worst things about these Olympics, and I’m not talking about nicole. Well, maybe a little.

          1. Well, we are tossing around the word “worst.” She was bound to come up.

  5. “I am legitimately infatuated with their unparalleled ability to deliver bad news.”

    I would imagine that they get lots of practice.

  6. Did any of you think that MAYBE – just MAYBE – they design the toilets this way so that people can exchange Pokemon cards more easily while doin’ their bidness?

    I rest my case…

    1. If you get shit on your holographic Charizard, does it lose value?

      1. It gains value, actually.

        1. Really?!?

          (gets out holographic Charizard, roll of toilet paper)

    2. Russians are used to dealing with shortages. The two-seat-per-stall design makes it a lot easier to pass the TP if one side runs out first.

      1. Sounds like things haven’t changed all that much since I was there in ’84.

  7. “We’ll just have to wait to see if the opening ceremonies are interrupted by a power outage or if those wacky double-toilets start spewing out geysers of waste.”

    That could well result in a complete and utter barf-o-rama.

  8. Look. They all have EQUAL shitty accomidations. Thats whats important. No inequality.

    1. Yeah modern Russia, the poster boy for socialism.

  9. NBC has to send Yakov Smirnoff to Sochi to anchor their Olympics broadcasts. This is a comedy gold mine waiting to happen.

    1. In Russia, gold mines YOU!

      Back to you, Bob Costas!

  10. A possible plus I could see from this is people maybe realizing how awful socialism is at accomplishing anything.. Yeah, who am I kidding, people won’t make that connection.

    1. Of course not. Because socialism has gone away and Putin is actually a conservative. Therefore, Russia today is what America will look like in 10 years if we vote conservatives or – shudder – libertarians into power.

      1. lol. Putin and his cronies (who pocketed all the money that was supposed to go into the construction) are basically just communists who don’t even pretend that they give a shit about “the people” anymore. It’s the best of both worlds.

    2. I would characterize post-soviet Russia as kleptocracy/oligarchy with the trappings of democracy.

      1. So basically, Somalia with money?

    3. So media types are discomfited, and a kleptocratic regime is exposed and mocked. It’s schadenfreude Christmas!

  11. Really? Pokemon cards? Nobody? Really?


    1. -1 pokeball

    2. In Soviet Russia, Pokemon cards trade you!

  12. And the accommodations could pale if bombs start going off. Know some folks from Russia and from Georgia and the scenarios are endless. Most think the Olympic events themselves will be safe. But, there are fears that there will be so much security in Sochi that bombs could go off elsewhere. Another scary one is that you have to take a train ride of 30 mins to get from most hotels to the events & the trains could be vulnerable.

    And, that’s not mentioning all the false flag ideas some people are suggesting.

    1. And what a great way for state actors to embarrass Putin while letting him blame troublesome domestic ethnic/religious/sexual minorities.

      1. One of the “false flag” variations is that Putin knows about an attack but will let it take place in order to crack down on some of those minorities.

      2. Glitter bombs with rainbow fuses that make all the corpses fabulous. Bear bombs wrapped in hairy flannel and twink bombs that make you do coke all night until your heart explodes. Drag bombs that spread deadly clouds of concealer and eyelash glue and closet bombs that are my dream boyfriend but he cries every time I take my clothes off, what is wrong with me? And the worst ever, stealthy bombs that act just like normal people and just want to live their lives in peace. So dangerous.

        Leave Russia alone, you homocidal manassiacs!

        1. Oh shit, NutraSweet got into the maraschino cherry juice again. Somebody get the Thorazine and a crash cart.


            1. Who has the goddamn Thorazine?!?

              (struggles to hold NutraSweet down)

              Does anyone have a crowbar?

              1. I sort of expected you to have ‘tard strength, Epi. I’m a little disappointed.

                1. And NutraSweet doesn’t? They do cancel each other out, you know.

                  (whacks NutraSweet in the head with a bottle)

                  There, there. Shush.

            2. You ODed on pet fox this morning, didn’t you?


    They have a *seriously* long way to go. but they WILL TRY!


    Seriously, read that. The highlights were the “outbreak of Dengue Fever” and the bridge collapse.

    We think maybe Brazil will put up a strong showing for FIFA; they’ve already had some riots!

  14. Reminds me of the his-n-hers love toilet skit from SNL a few years ago…

    I get a kick out of the pampered journalists whining about not getting 4-star treatment. Oh, you have to put up with stinky water, stray dogs and bees in your food while you’re GETTING PAID TO TALK ABOUT THE OLYMPICS ON A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME VACATION TO RUSSIA? Cry me a frozen river.

    Did these guys never go camping as a kid? It’s a skiing and skate-boarding contest, not a Mitt Romney-class equestrian competition or polo match. So you have to rough it for a few weeks. Go get drunk with a few athletes from the Scandinavian women’s team, since I won’t be there to do it.

    1. Sorry I have to vent: How come there is not such a thing as snow polo?

      1. There is. It involves 10 Russians and a roll of toilet paper.

  15. 80 years of communism plus Chernobyl left the Russians a mutated bunch of freaks.

    1. Chernobyl’s in Ukraine

      1. It was in the Soviet Union. duh.

    2. The Tsars’ Russia had a reputation for comparable failures of comfort. The Russian Empire has been a fairly shoddy place for a loooooong time.

  16. Fuck it’s cold. -16 and it’s not dark yet.

    I just took my Beam and Coke with me out to the tub. It was sitting on the edge for 5 minutes when I went to take a sip it had frozen over.

    1. Too much coke, obviously.

      1. Yeah, except I’ve never been accused of putting too little booze in my drinks.

        I was really surprised.

        1. I’m accusing you now.

        2. Did you add ice while you were still inside?
          (I’m asking because I have no concept of what -16 is)

          1. Yeah, it was in one of those insulated aluminum tumblers, had ice in it but was about 2/3 full. Tipped it to my lips and nothing came out. Had to break it with my finger to get to my mudders milk.

            1. Montana: More than 1 use for isolated coffee cups.

              1. *insulated*

    2. Not to be a dick, but here is my monthly forecast.

      1. Sounds about right, we needed some rain this month. Although I don’t trust a weather report that’s forecasting 3 weeks out.

        1. There are going to be thunderstorms here on the 24th. The science is settled.

          1. a storm of consensus swirled about —

      2. Tonight A slight chance of flurries before midnight, then a slight chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around -19 by 5am. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

        1. You’ll have plenty to brag about this summer. Meanwhile….

        2. When your temperature rises to -19, you know it’s fucking cold.

          1. Centigrade or Fahrenheit? At -40 they are equal.

  17. Well, g’night kids. My kids turns 6 today, so we’re headed to Round Table Pizza where I’m gonna drink beer and cheat on skee ball until I have enough tickets to win something awesome.

    1. I hope for your sake the kid doesn’t order deep dish.

  18. Richard Levy Argues Against New Food Stamps Regulation

    “A lot of people a lot of the time underestimate how burdensome, onerous, and intrusive complicated bureaucratic rules and regulations are. They casually treat the only cost of a rule as the cost to bad people of not doing whatever the rule prohibits, which isn’t a cost at all. But in order to have effect, rules have to be enforced; efforts have to be made to detect violations and monitor performance on an ongoing basis. This is a burden on the whole class subject to the rule, not only those who were going to break it…

    The point being, the new farm bill: USDA will need to ensure that illegal immigrants, lottery winners, college students and the dead cannot receive food stamps and that people cannot collect benefits in multiple states…

    How can states ensure that no one is collecting food stamps for a dead household member? The answer has to involve paperwork and bureaucratic supervision or in-person monitoring by social workers or, in all likelihood, both.

    And so poor people will be subjected to another set of forms, another set of inspections, another set of surveillance and monitoring, another set of insults, another risk of false findings of guilt, for trivial financial savings.”


    1. “Subjected”? Is someone forcing them to apply for food stamps?

      1. After all, only people are capable of coercion. Hunger is a valid lifestyle choice.

  19. Cutting it a little close on the Independents thread, aren’t they?

  20. Guess this is it.


    1. Nevermind. Go to the late posted thread.

  21. “Sergei, the plans say there should be two toilet stalls here, but we never got any doors or partitions.”

    “Shut up, Dimitri, and just install the damn toilets.”

  22. OMG – a Scott Shackleford article that wasn’t on gay marriage. It was a total breakaway to toilet stall partitions. He’s got his ‘A’ game going now…

  23. Gaza is flooded with sewage:


    A Russian export? Nope. They use sewage pipes to make rockets.


    1. Those wacky Muslims!

  24. Let the crapstorm begin oh yeah!


    1. Wow. Anonobot is picking up hir game.

    2. Wow. Anonobot is picking up hir game.

  25. It’s apparent that very little has changed in Russia since Robert Heinlein and his wife Virginia went there in the 1960. His description of his six months in the USSR are in various places in his book “Expanded Universe.”

  26. Did any of you think that MAYBE – just MAYBE – they design the toilets this way so that people can exchange Pokemon cards more easily while doin’ their bidness? good idea,sir

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