A satirical Twitter account launched Tuesday, poking fun at difficult conditions faced by media covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia, has gone viral this week. Sochi Olympics journalists tweet about Sochi problems. The Twitter account, aptly named @SochiProblems, has gathered a mass of followers after Thursday night’s opening ceremony.
Journalists from all over the world who have come to cover the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games this year have converged on the Twitter page to lament the less-than-satisfactory conditions some of them are facing, including shoddy hotels, strange bathroom conditions, stray dogs, unappetizing food, and other various unpleasantness.
So far, @SochiProblems has garnered a number of followers that has far exceeded the number of followers on @Sochi2014, the the official Twitter account of the Sochi Olympics Games, which had around 133,000 followers as of Thursday night. By that time, @SochiProblems already had over 100,000 followers, and by Friday, the number of followers had surpassed those of @Sochi2014. According to Mashable, even from inside the city, where the Olympics are being held, the hashtag #SochiProblems has had more mentions than any other Olympics-related hashtag. This includes #TeamUSA, #openingceremony and #Putin. Russian officials are not happy about the @SochiProblems Twitter account.
Meanwhile, in the midst of the buzz about the objectionable circumstances the journalists have been facing while covering the Winter Olympics, Russia has been trying to convince people that conditions in Sochi for visitors are not as bad as the media is saying, and that the city is safe. The Twitter account aside, the unfinished construction in Sochi has also been a hot topic in the media and has gained much controversy. The unfinished construction in Sochi is largely to blame for the unsatisfactory conditions that the journalists are facing, such as toilets that do not flush, torn apart hotel lobbies, and rooms without door handles. A Russian official addressed the media Thursday, accusing the media of making a spectacle to gain headlines and undermining the spirit of the Sochi Olympic Games.
Despite this, journalists for the Sochi Olympics who have taken the opportunity to tweet about Sochi problems on the site have shown no restraint in making fun of the undesirable conditions they have been faced with since the @SochiProblems account made its premiere around 9 a.m. last Tuesday. Sochi Olympics journalists’ complaints included small beds, a lack of toilet paper, no heat, and the color of the water, among other things.
Early Friday morning, @SochiProblems tweeted, “Light fixtures falling from ceiling are normal, go back to bed. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014.” Another tweet read, “Here’s to a happy and safe Hunger Games…Olympics, sorry my bad.” @StacyStClair tweeted, “My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, “do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous. #Sochi2014.” She later tweeted, “Water restored, sorta. On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous water looks like. #Sochi #unfiltered.” @BrianCostaWSJ also jokingly tweeted, “5am update: The stray dogs are all awake and barking at each other, like birds on a tree just before sunrise.”
By Laura Clark