Barring a particularly memorable Winter Games, the Olympics in Sochi are destined to be remembered as "The One Where Everything Was Shitty." To the pile of Sochi horror stories we can add this tale from snowboard and ski course builder Johnnie Balfour.
Balfour originally posted this on his personal blog before deleting it, but naturally the text soon showed up on Reddit. His story of coming to Sochi in mid-January to help prep for the Games has more than its fair share of whining, but it also highlights the total lack of regard for the comfort of not just those covering the Olympics, but those making them happen, too.
His "hotel" was seemingly as bad as any we've seen in Sochi so far, and that is a very crowded field.
We pull into a driveway of a block of buildings that look like a council housing estate in England. It looks like it was built 50 years ago, not 2. The road is half built and there is mud and water pouring down the street off the mountain. This place is a dump and looks like it could fall down at any moment. I am pulled from the car and shoved in front of a pimply kid seated behind a plastic table. He is surrounded by boxes of building supplies and broken tiles, the place smells of concrete dust. Pimple kid hands me a key and points at the next building, "Top floor, room 10". I turn to leave, "No, you come". He drags me to another room full of folded laundry, he hands me a two sheets, a pillow case and a roll of toilet paper.
The amenties, like many in Sochi have experienced, consisted mostly of yellowish-brown water. Appetizing!
The toilet flushes muddy water, there is no hot water, the shower floor is covered in dirt and mud, there was piss all over the toilet, the water is undrinkable (it's brown) it's even sketchy to brush your teeth with it and the idea of having internet in this place is a joke.
Of course, it could have been worse. Balfour, unlike his friend, had reliable transportation from Sochi's airport to the site of the Games.
Before I get a chance to explore, Nick Roma turns up, soaking wet with a "Fuck this" look in his face. Turns out he got onto a bus from Sochi airport and was told to get off in the middle of nowhere. He stood in the pouring rain for almost an hour before another bus showed up. The second bus dumped him at a bus depot.
Balfour also says that Russian Olympic officials ordered that he and his partners open bank accounts in the country, and when they refused, accounts were opened in their names anyway. He also has doubts that he will ever be paid for his services.
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi: an amazing shitshow, as long as you're not there. Or a dog.
[image via Getty]