If there was a website that did nothing but publish journalists hard luck stories from Sochi, I’d be on it a dozen times a day. No doorknobs. No floors. Toilets that won’t flush toilet paper. Yellow water. Digital hacking so thorough, NBC’s Richard Engel had his cellphone compromised in under a minute!
You can’t make this stuff up–though it’s not unexpected.
Russia, like the Soviet Union before it, is a victim of a type of government that favors ‘every man for himself’ thinking. It is a country which has watched the most dishonest among its populace become the most wealthy and where gaming the system is a national pastime.
That the Sochi infrastructure was built half-assed is, again, no surprise. Overseers who were supposed to insure a well planned outcome had other priorities. Police are corrupt. Inspectors are corrupt. Government officials are corrupt. Every hand is out!
So, we’ll all spend the next few weeks laughing at Sochi’s inadequacies, until something major goes wrong. I am scared that will be terrorist related. CNN reports most Americans feel there will be a terrorist attack at the Sochi Olympics.
The central Russian government has many enemies among its own citizens. Rebels who are powerless socially and politically often see violence as their only viable option.
Starting from the end of the 20th century, significant terrorist activity has taken place in Moscow, most notably apartment bombings and the Moscow theater hostage crisis. Many more acts of terrorism have been committed in Chechnya, Dagestan, and other parts of the country. Some of them became a matter of significant controversy, since journalists and scholars claimed them to be directed by the Russian secret services, often through their Chechen agent provocateurs. – Wikipedia
Will terrorists attack the games? I am petrified the answer is, yes.
The State Department issued a memo to athletes, reported in the Wall Street Journal.
“The U.S. Department of State has advised that wearing conspicuous Team USA clothing in non-accredited areas may put your personal safety at greater risk.”
I never shied away from New York City after 9/11. I understood the risks and felt them minimal. If offered the chance to attend these games, I would pass.
To anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for a door handle. This offer is real: pic.twitter.com/7AeesqDi8Y
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) February 4, 2014
People have asked me what surprised me the most here in Sochi. It's this. Without question … it's … THIS. pic.twitter.com/1jj05FNdCP
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 4, 2014
This is the one hotel room @Sochi2014 have given us so far. Shambles. #cnnsochi pic.twitter.com/RTjEkmyan3
— Harry Reekie (@HarryCNN) February 4, 2014
Water restored, sorta. On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous face water looks like. #Sochi #unfiltered pic.twitter.com/sQWM0vYtyz
— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014
6 thoughts on “Scared of Sochi”
I would not go either if I had the opportunity. But not being able to flush your paper is the norm in many places. We are on Isla Mujeres, Mexico right now & it’s an island, mostly coral so you can’t flush here–you just get used to it!
On the NBC Nightly News last night, they said leave your computer at home unless you really need it. If you go online, within minutes your computer will be hacked. They were showing how it is done.
I also heard that several athletes have dropped out because the courses are too dangerous – Some ski slopes are too steep, and some jumps are too high on the snowboard course. Some athletes have been injured while doing practice runs. The Olympic committee chose this location? Did they investigate the city’s capability to properly build the courses, and make sure the hotels at least had safe water for washing? I don’t think I would feel safe there even if the Olympics weren’t there.
NBC news yesterday reported that several of the hotels still aren’t finished, and the games start today?? Looks to me like many people will be sleeping Where???- Apparently there was no oversight in this operation—by the olympic committee–who dares to question Putin?! I too, am almost afraid to watch, as I fear attacks—and who is going to be there, at the events, to be watching—certainly not the crowds that other venues have drawn. And then there is the latest concern that some of the snow courses are improperly built–some athletes have already withdrawn—-. Instead of worrying about Brazil’s ability to put on the summer games–they should have paid more attention to Sochi—. We’d best all pray for sanity and safety.
I have been thinking about the 1972 Summer Olympics when there were 14 people killed. They flew some of the athletes home early, that were Jewish. As I recall, Mark Spitz was one of them, for fear someone would murder him. I just hope & pray this doesn’t happen again. I remember watching it on TV.
My biggest fear are dirty bombs that have nuke materials in it. Russia is still missing stock piles of their war heads. This is what I worry about that the most. I also heard a lot of athletes are telling their families to stay home and high level officials are not going either. Time will tell what will happen.