A Potemkin Olympic Village

Shoddy readiness of Olympics venue is scandalous

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Vladimir Putin is lucky there aren’t judges for Sochi’s guest accommodations like there are for the figure-skating competition.

If there were, even the former East German judges would give him a “zero.”

Reporters and film crews who descended on Sochi for the winter Olympics found what could be termed a Potemkin Olympic Village: hotels and guest rooms that were nowhere near ready, door knobs that break off, decrepit conditions, warnings from the lobby about not splashing the brown tap water on one’s face – and, in some cases, guest rooms already populated by other guests or even local squatters.

Only six of nine hotels were prepared for the influx of media.

“Journalists at Sochi are live-tweeting their hilarious and gross hotel experiences,” one headline blared.

“Hotels are still under construction,” wrote The Washington Post. “Water, if it’s running, isn’t drinkable. One German photographer told the AP over the weekend that his hotel still had stray dogs and construction workers wandering in and out of rooms.”

One journalist is seen in a photo with one end of his room’s curtain rod stretching woefully to the floor.

“CNN booked 11 rooms in one media hotel five months ago,” he wrote on Twitter. “We have been here for a day and only one room is available.”

“I have a room!” another journalist tweeted. “No heating or internet, but it has a (single) bed at least...

“Got back to hotel,” he added later. “(Elevator) broken after half day in use. Trekked up stairs. Door to my floor (that’d be the fire door) locked. Utter farce.”

“Water main break means no water at our hotel,” another tweeted.

“Ok, so my hotel doesn’t have a lobby yet,” another wrote. “For those of you asking, when there’s no lobby in your hotel, you go to the owner’s bedroom to check in.”

“My hotel has no water,” yet another lamented. “If restored, the front desk says, ‘do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.’”

Then there are the safety fears, with U.S. officials warning of terrorism dangers and resulting restrictions on toiletries in carry-on bags. If they can’t get basic, decent accommodations right, let’s hope they can at least keep people safe.

These conditions and shortcomings would be nothing short of a scandal if they took place in, say, Lake Placid. In this case, it certainly throws open the window to a system that, whatever they want you to believe, is still suffering from communism and its twin: state corruption. It’s not at all ready for prime time.

Notes a blog at the
Heritage Foundation: “This is indicative of broader, systemic problems. ... Russia lacks a tradition in service industries, suffers from opaque business practices, and is riddled (with) corruption – all factors which led to the fiasco we see now.”

In the future, Olympic officials might want to be more careful about what kind of hosting offers they entertain. It may not be politically correct, but the truth is that free societies are more able to get the doorknobs to stay on and the water to be – well, washable.

The reasons for that are varied. There’s more accountability, less corruption, more incentive to perform, and more shame when one doesn’t.

Communism stinks.

Sometimes literally.

Comments (12) Add comment
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deestafford
27564
Points
deestafford 02/08/14 - 01:28 am
7
1
Ahhh, the system the left...

Ahhh, the system the left has touted for generations. The system that is superior and will destroy capitalism. The system of centralized government that many serving in the halls of our Congress want to replace our republican form of government with because "they" are smart enough to make it work. The system that puts a sign in the bathroom telling the user of the toilet not to put paper in the toilet by in the trash receptacle next to it.

Why do we gave an all expense trip to our leftist congressional democrats so they can see "their system". On second thought, it would do no good because many go to Cuba and come back to our shores and praise Castro. "There are none so blind as those who cannot see" is an appropriate description of these people.

Riverman1
83813
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Riverman1 02/08/14 - 07:25 am
7
1
Putin Still Learning

Putin is still learning about capitalism. We should have sent him Augusta’s T.R. Reddy, told TR who the influential local politicians were and let him “work with them” to create tax allocation districts to fund his renovations of whatever buildings they had started. Before long you’d have Holiday Inn Expresses up and running all over Sochi with Tom Bodett on loan from Motel 6 walking around town with his guitar serenading tourists about pizza crumbs on the bed. While they're at it attach a government paid for convention center to one of the hotels.

carcraft
25803
Points
carcraft 02/08/14 - 08:41 am
7
1
Perhaps this gives some

Perhaps this gives some credence to Romney's executive experiance when he turned around the Utah Olympic venue in a very short time. Could you imagine Obama doing It? His administration can't get a web site up in 4 years spending $600 million? The differance? Some one in the real world actually having to get something done as opposed to a bureaucrat community organizer who only knows how to purpose something gets done. Obama looking in a mirror must see the reflection of the Russian bureaucrats in charge of the Olympics!

corgimom
32303
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corgimom 02/08/14 - 10:23 am
2
6
How does living conditions in

How does living conditions in Russia have anything to do with Mitt Romney and Obama?

dichotomy
32906
Points
dichotomy 02/08/14 - 10:45 am
6
1
The accommodation

The accommodation preparedness in Sochi is to the Olympics guests what Obamacare is to the American health care system. Both come from the same government philosophy.

carcraft
25803
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carcraft 02/08/14 - 10:52 am
4
1
Well simple, Obama believes

Well simple, Obama believes bureaucrats can do things better than free enterprise and we have spent $600 million and 4 years with a barely functioning web site! The web site and the Sochi Olympic village are monuments to bureaucratic ineptitude . So lets compare the Russian village to Romney understanding how to make things work as a capitalist and the winter Olympic venue in Utah with Sochi and that venue!

Sweet son
10397
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Sweet son 02/08/14 - 12:59 pm
4
1
Hey corgi, if we keep letting Obama have his way the good 'ole

USA will look just like Sochi since he is steering our nation towards Socialism.

corgimom
32303
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corgimom 02/08/14 - 03:52 pm
1
6
Nobody can possibly compare

Nobody can possibly compare Russian bureaucracy to US bureaucracy.

carcraft
25803
Points
carcraft 02/08/14 - 04:55 pm
4
1
Lets see IRS lost $64 million

Lets see IRS lost $64 million in Obama care start up funds. The US government smuggled over 2000 guns into Mexico, IRS targets those politically opposed to Obama, US officials go on national television and lie to us about the destruction of our embassy, the president lies to the American people multiply times including. "You can keep your a) insurance, b) doctor, c) hospital. " We have spent $600 million dollars on a web site that barely works. One official has been fired for all this non sense! We are well on our way!

teaparty
11313
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teaparty 02/08/14 - 05:25 pm
4
1
"Nobody can possibly compare
Unpublished

"Nobody can possibly compare Russian bureaucracy to US bureaucracy."
corgi, in a way you are correct, Putin has made Obama look like a fool.

carcraft
25803
Points
carcraft 02/08/14 - 05:32 pm
3
1
Something else very pollet

Something else very pollet bureau like is the IRS scandal. Obama says he is outraged and fires an acting head of the IRS. An investigation is started. None of the victims are interviewed and before the investigation is over Obama announces there isn't s smidgen of corruption despite the fact that an IRS official admitted conservative groups were targeted! LOL the old Soviet Commissars couldn't have done it any better! Oh, did Obama apologize to the guy he fired! Oh never mind he didn't apologize to the guy arrested for the video NOT responsible for the destruction of the US embassy in Libya. I think he is still in jail!

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 02/08/14 - 06:01 pm
2
1
Dr John Drew recalls his
Unpublished

Dr John Drew recalls his meeting with Obama in 1980. Dr. Drew said, "Obama believed that “America was definitely the enemy, and American elites were the enemy, and whatever America was doing was definitely wrong and bad. He thought that perhaps the Soviet Union was misunderstood, and it was doing a better job for its people than most people realized,”.
This is not surprising since Obama's mentor was Franklin Marshall Davis an America hating racist communist and child molester. Davis moved from Chicago to Hawaii to head up the communist party there started by the Soviets.

KSL
129362
Points
KSL 02/08/14 - 08:17 pm
2
1
I think I read the same

I think I read the same article that the editors did.

Darby
25614
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Darby 02/08/14 - 11:50 pm
2
0
"If there were, even the former East German

judges would give him a “zero.”"

.
Not true! Now matter how bad things got in the old Soviet Union, any detrimental comment by anyone in East Germany would have found the offender digging out from under a Siberian snow bank.

In that regard, the Russians are gradually moving away from governmental oppression, while we are steadily sliding backwards into it.

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