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TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore

Dave Ross

Is there any good news about the Sochi Olympics?

This photo taken on Friday Jan. 17, 2014, shows two toilets at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center for next month's Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Although two toilets and only one stall like this are not common in Russia, social media users have responded by posting other pictures of toilets standing side by side. One said this was standard at Russian soccer stadiums. (AP Photo/Steve Rosenberg, BBC)

Every Olympics generates stories about how the venues won't be finished, or are over budget, or how there's not enough snow, or there's too much snow. But the publicity cloud hanging over Sochi has to be the gloomiest ever.

There was the threat that Russia was going to arrest gay people - gay athletes were worried they'd be dragged off the slopes - until President Putin explained, no, so as long as you're not a door-to-door gay missionary you have nothing to worry about.

And then the terror threats began with tourists and even athletes' relatives canceling trips. Troops have been called in to create an Iron Ring around the games.

But the latest PR debacle may eclipse all that. A BBC reporter walked into the men's room at the cross-country center and found two toilets sharing a single stall.

"Clearly even some locals find it unusual," said the reporter.

A Sochi local told him that she thought it was some kind of joke.

"But it's no joke," the reporter continued. "Independent reports confirm the existence of a bathroom stall with two toilets."

Well, the ridicule has saturated the Internet, but before we get all sanctimonious, think back on the last American gas station toilet you experienced - how you tried to hover above the seat.

And it's not as if our private toilets are all that private: as documented 20 years ago on "Seinfeld."

Elaine: Excuse me - this is kind of embarrassing but there's no toilet paper over here.
In Russia not a problem, that wouldn't be a problem.

Elaine: You can't spare three squares!?
Woman: No! I don't have a square to spare. I can't spare a square!

Not a problem in Russia - you just reach right over.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FMTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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