Sochi – it may be 10,000 km from Vladivostok, but it is well on the way to Laughingstok.
How much of a debacle was the Winter Olympic Games?
Incredulity-inducing twin-share toilet amenities, nausea-inducing toilet paper disposing instructions, and cancer-inducing drinking water. It had it all.
Putin must be seething. Heads will roll.
Seriously, he’s ex-KGB. There’s all likelihood heads will be detached and/or rolled. Or perhaps curled?
With the Cold War long over, but with Russia-USA relations at a low point, particularly with the wounds from the Snowden affair still scabbing over, along with the Ukraine crisis reaching a head, it will no doubt bring mirth to the West that Russia ballsed it up so humiliatingly for all the world to see.
Look, Olympic host cities have historically scrambled to get everything ready in time. Sochi is not alone here.
However with an estimated $51 billion price tag, and this being the first time the Winter Olympics has come to Russia, this was supposed to be their time to shine.
But the shine wore off the moment reporters started to arrive in the seaside resort town in the lead up to the Games.
Muddy bogs surrounded hotels, where grassy lawns were to have been. Side-by-side toilets, unseparated by the nuisance of partitioning, forced strangers to communicate in a place where communication is least desired.
And by the time the fifth Olympic ring failed to light during the opening ceremony, the world was cringing with embarrassment, and the super-trending #SochiProblems swept the Twittersphere.
In the wash-up however, there were numerous saving graces. Russia ended up winning the medal count. There was breathtaking brilliance shown by athletes from across the globe in an array of exhilarating, extreme pursuits, as only the Winter Olympics can deliver. Well except maybe in the curling.
But then there was controversy as a multitude of athletes complained that the skiing and boarding runs were overly dangerous, resulting in a higher than normal injury rate. Or perhaps that was just a ploy by Sochi administrators to increase the number of high-profile athletes able to compete in the Winter Paralympics in the weeks to follow, saving on marketing costs by allowing them to re-use promotional material?
In all seriousness, fingers firmly crossed the Paralympics go off without a hitch.
But all of that will be by-the-by, because that’s the problem with first impressions, Sochi. You only get one shot.