By KERRIE HECKEL
Olympians’ performances aren’t the only things making news in Sochi.
A significant number of journalists have taken to Twitter to share with the problems they have run into while in Russia.
Perhaps it all started with the fifth Olympic ring not opening during opening ceremonies, but the Twitter handle @sochiproblems has collected a number of negative reports, mostly about hotel rooms, that can actually be quite comical.
Dallas Robinson, USA bobsledder, tweeted a picture of a door made out of cardboard which his teammate had torn apart and climbed through after being locked in the bathroom.
Steph Stricklen, news anchor for KGW in Portland, tweeted pictures of mirrored bathroom ceilings in Shayba Arena that reflected inside of the stalls to the neighboring areas. She captioned her photo, “because who doesn’t want to use a public restroom with completely mirrored ceilings? thanks shayba arena!” Sporting a grimacing look on her face in the reflection of the ceiling.
My personal favorite tweet was by author, screenwriter and sports columnist Dan Wetzle from inside his hotel room. The tweet is a picture of three light bulbs that reads, “To anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for a door handle. This offer is real.” Maybe he could help out ESPN reporter Marc Connolly who tweeted a picture of a lamp with two missing light bulbs saying “Only one light bulb per lamp apparently”.
Still, while many reporters seem to be looking at problems in Sochi light-heartedly some issues they have run into is no laughing matter.
One of those issues has to do with the quality of water. Stacy St. Clair, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, reported that employees at her hotel told her not to put the water on her face as it had something very dangerous in it. The water she pictured on Twitter was a yellow-brown color that I cannot imagine she wanted to put on her face anyway
St. Clair later tweeted, “Also on the bright side: I just washed my face with Evian, like I’m a Kardashian or something.”
Other reporters tweeted pictures of open electrical units and light fixtures falling from the ceiling.
The brutally honest tweets continue to roll in but if you’re putting a group of journalists in hotels with less than stellar accommodations what else can you expect?
What I’ve gotten out of these tweets @sochiproblems, other than some good laughs, is that good journalists report stories when they see them, not just when they are assigned. Sure these reporters were there for the Olympics; but they saw something noteworthy of sharing and they did. Although it might be simple these reporter show that being a journalist isn’t your typical 9-5 job, it’s a lifestyle that continues even when you’re off the clock in your relaxing hotel room.