"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

06 February 2014

In Olympic Russia, Hotel Checks You


It's a bit modernist, but seems stable -- what could go wrong?

Oh, well, that's not good. Probably an isolated incident...

Unless you've somehow put a block on anything Olympics-related, you've probably seen those 'reality' images seventy times over by now. As if the socio-political aspects of this year's games wasn't contaminated enough by a government vocally bashing a not-small portion of humanity there's, well, contaminated water, open manhole covers, floor-less lobbies, and a sense of unfinished-ness permeating Sochi -- and the games have only just started.
Now, Russia is generally a winter-sports wonderland, but if the infrastructure of the host city is this unprepared for just the sheer number of people coming for the games, it really raises questions about their preparedness for the games themselves. Are the halfpipes structurally stable? Are the slopes maintained well enough? Are the speed skating tracks even?
And who the hell was in charge of maintaining the construction schedule for the press, visitor, and athlete hotels?

I'm not boycotting watching this year's games, for many reasons, the foundation of which is I want to support the athletes who have spent their whole lives working toward these games. There are new events and new Olympians mixed in with the classic games and seasoned athletes. These people are what the games are about, not the ridiculous, homophobic, misguided government backing these games, not the already ludicrous accommodations and state of the host city, not the pomp and circumstance of the opening ceremonies, but the actual people participating. The athletes are what I care about. They're what I've always cared about.
You choose to boycott these games, for whatever reason, that's fine. Personal choices, not going to judge. Just remember: however these games play out over the next two weeks, the more focus given to the participants' achievements and how everyone going to Russia overcomes the obvious issues present there, the better we all will be as people.

That being said, calling out governments and officials on horrendous lack of planning, structuring, organization and implementation in any endeavour is not unwarranted. The more social media advances, the more opportunity we have to showcase these flaws not just at the Olympics, but any time, anywhere -- not through assumptions and false accusations, but through simple evidence. If nothing else, hopefully these Olympics will show some leaders that not all their inadequacies can be brushed aside using money and/or force, from the country level down through the smallest company.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go draft my Olympic viewing schedule from the comfort of my fully plumbed, entirely floored room.

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