It didn’t take long after the tourists started arriving to Russia for the 2014 Sochi Olympic games before embarrassing pictures and tweets started to surface. My facebook newsfeed became inundated with images of poorly supplied hotel rooms, unfinished pathways and other mistakes made by the Russians in preparation for the games.
But let me be clear…. I am not embarrassed by the Russians.
It is of course, unfortunate that so many areas of the country were not properly supplied or updated before guests started arriving. What’s more unfortunate are the hundreds of selfish and arrogant tourists, especially media members, who are mocking the people who have spent millions (around $31 million to be exact, significantly more than was budgeted for the game) and countless hours preparing for their country to shine.
I’m embarrassed that a group of Americans, Canadians, Europeans, whoever, might leave their posh training centers, and luxurious accommodations and slight their hosts.
I feel such sympathy for the average Joe/Jane in Russia who has made it their ever-waking responsibility to oversee that a hoard of tasks be completed to prepare for this honor. I feel for those who simply follow out the orders as they are given, the ones who worked tirelessly to prepare for this showcase, who had no say in the timeline or the scale of responsibilities this feat would require.
To the woman, who has been seen all over the internet, painting the grass…. does the photographer think she simply overslept and missed her deadline? To the folks laying bricks on the path, is it their fault they weren’t ready? We may never know where the fault lies in the Russian’s inability to properly prepare for the games…. but I know exactly where to blame the embarrassment.
Who walks into a guest’s house and mocks the mess? Who laughs in the face of their host who prepares a dinner “unfit” for them? Do these people have any manners? Half of these absurd articles that I’ve seen are written and published are not by the athletes themselves, for whom this is in preparation, but the media members!
I am embarrassed. I’m embarrassed that on a national stage, we Americans are showing our true colors: arrogance.
What do you think about the opening days at Sochi? Let me know in the comment field below.