BBC Journalist Steve Rosenberg showed the world how the Sochi Olympic Biathlon Center restroom could get a little too close for comfort. Imagine going into a public bathroom and opening the stall door just to see two toilets side by side with no wall in between them and the toilet paper is reachable for only one of the toilets. That’s what happened to Rosenberg which at that point he instantly snapped a picture of it and put it on twitter which went viral and was re-tweeted over a thousand times.
After the picture of the double toilets became viral, Sochi games organizers were put on the defense. People all over the world were wondering why there were two toilets in one stall side by side. Elena Greenberg, known as the Olympic Committee’s press service, had responded to the picture by posting on the famous social network, Facebook. She had explained that the reason why there were two toilets in one stall was because the organizers had too many toilets and decided to make that stall into a storage area. They had only taken down the dividing wall and had not got to remove the toilets yet. Later a picture was released of the same stall with three cupboards instead of the two toilets that gave everyone a laugh.
Later, possibly unaware of the response that had been given through Facebook by Greenberg, Legislator Svetlana Zhurova had told the public a different story. She had stated that the toilets where like that for the disabled athletes. That response received a lot of negative feedback and had many asking how two side by side toilets with no wall in between them could possibly benefit a disabled athlete. After the public realized that they had gotten two very different stories behind the mysterious double toilet stall, the situation exploded and had many people looking for the true purpose for the organizers interior restroom design.
To make things even more confusing, the Associated Press had found another double toilet in the security screening facility. After that had been released and the press began to investigate, it because clear that the situation had caused some tension leading people to refuse answering any questions from journalists. The curiosity concerning the double toilets would not have gone this out of hand if there was only one believable response for the reasoning behind the mysterious bathroom layout.
The Sochi games organizers were not happy about this kind of publicity. Blogger Sergei Nikitsky had mentioned on LiveJournal that the situation had been blown out of proportion going on to say how people were making a huge deal about something that should not even matter. All the publicity had done was put the embarrassed organizers in an awkward spot and had especially put the country in an embarrassing situation. The country currently feels like they were put in a bad spot because they are the ones hosting the Olympics. After feeling too close for comfort with other countries inquiring about their strange restroom designs, Sochi feels that their reputation for being a good host has gone down the toilet.
Editorial by Brittany Varner-Miller