The 2014 Winter Olympics weren’t perfect, but they were great

February 25, 2014

By Noela Lu

NEW — 10:55 a.m. Feb. 25, 2014

#SochiProblems. That was how the 2014 Winter Olympics started, with Western bloggers griping about the lack of hospitality in Sochi, Russia.

Of course, complaining wasn’t enough; the bloggers rushed to Twitter, giving birth to the now-trending hashtag, #SochiProblems. Pictures of “peach juice,” multiple toilets in a bathroom stall and light bulbs as door handles popped up on the Internet, all amusing and lighthearted…at the time.

Noela Lu  Skyline High School

Noela Lu
Skyline High School

Many Westerners saw these posts as funny and harmless. However, few realized that the very issues they poked fun at are a part of many Russians’ daily lives.

According to an online New York Times article, Russia needed $55 billion to repair 15 years of maintenance on their water reservoir and distributing system. The contaminated water was the result of aged pipes, which left the country in constant fear of cholera, the deadly disease that plagued industrial England during the late 1800s (it’s definitely not something you want to get).

Though some hotels had light bulbs as doorknobs and no curtains, the Sochi Winter Olympic Games was estimated to cost Russia a whopping total of $51 billion. According to businessinsider.com, that was double the next most expensive Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, in 1998.

So, maybe the games weren’t perfect: Maybe there were some terrorist threats, maybe the tap water wasn’t drinkable, but so what? The point of the Olympics is to create a friendly and competitive atmosphere for countries, athletes and fans alike to bond and establish everlasting relationships. And that’s exactly what Sochi did.

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