For the next three weeks, I will become a couch-potato commentator on all things winter sports related. Fair warning to each and every Olympic athlete competing in Sochi: I will judge you. Whether the landing of of your triple axle is a bit shaky or the overall impact of your first run down the halfpipe is a bit lackluster, I will criticize you from the comfort of my peanut gallery.
Luckily for me, the snarky folks at @SochiProblems have already gotten a head start on judging the highs and lows of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. However, they’re not commenting on the performances of the athletes (although I’m sure that’s soon to come), but rather, the thousands of mishaps that have seemed to plague Russia’s winter games. The @SochiProblems account currently boasts roughly 274,000 followers. That’s 100,000 more than the Olympics’ official @sochi2014 account. According to Mashable, "The hashtag #SochiProblems has been mentioned more than 'Team USA,' 'Putin' and 'opening ceremony,' on social media." Fodder for the account includes photographs of/jokes pertaining to subpar hotel conditions, bathrooms without stall partitions, packs of stray dogs, glasses of yellow tap water, and these tipsy security guards:
It’s worth noting, then, that a Twitter account that does not claim an owner (nor has it given any hints about who is managing its tweets) could severely undermine Russia’s 50 billion dollar effort to promote its attractions and amenities to potential tourists. So, what have we learned? Two things: 1) Twitter is more powerful than ever as a means of aggregating and sharing content, and 2) it has the capacity to change the world’s perception of an Olympic sized event. The negative publicity is taking away from what’s set to be one of the coolest and most physically demanding Olympic games we’ve ever seen (Slopestyle? The ski halfpipe? C’mon!). On the bright side, at least there’s all kinds of team bonding happening in the Olympic Village: