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Tandem Toilets in Sochi Olympic Venue Despite $50Bln Budget

Published: January 23, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • The twin toilets at the Olympic Biathlon Center
    Photo: S. Rosenberg / Twitter

A Sochi Olympic venue has put two toilets side by side in the same stall, sending social networks buzzing about the Games organizers' extreme generosity with the commodes — or their extreme skimpiness on the partitions.

For added irony, the picture of the toilets in a men's bathroom at the Olympic Biathlon Center, originally tweeted by a BBC correspondent in Sochi, showed only one roll of toilet paper in the bathroom — positioned on a side wall and apparently out of reach from at least one of the seats.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny seized on the picture, and reiterated that much of the Games' reported $50 billion budget had been misspent.

You may also be interested in: Putin Denies Sochi Olympics Corruption

A commentator on news and social network website TJournal said Navalny could also have said the partition between the two toilets had been "stripped," using a Russian word that is a slang term for embezzlement. Navalny had used the same word to name his RosPil blog dedicated to exposing state corruption.

Others objected to the idea that the extra toilet was a sign of the Games organizers' largesse.

"Russia is so generous that it installs two toilets side by side in its bathroom stalls," another TJournal reader said.

An Ekho Moskvy reader said that the designers had probably planned to install a bidet next to the toilet, but contractors either got confused or ran out of supplies, and put in two toilets instead.

You may also be interested in: Dutch Brass Band Considers Gay Anthem for Sochi Playlist

Some bloggers also linked the double toilets to the heightened security measures around the Olympics, which begin on Feb. 7 against the backdrop of recent suicide bombings in a nearby southern region and multiple threats of more terrorist attacks.

"Heightened security, anti-terrorism measures," another TJournal reader said. One toilet "is for a person, the other is for a security agent, clandestinely ensuring security."

Other commentators also linked the picture to the debates over Russia's "gay propaganda" ban.

"People are so perverted these days: The site of two commodes side by side makes them immediately think of gay propaganda," another blogger said, in an apparently ironic remark. "Maybe it was done for those who are afraid to conduct the process alone?"





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Sept. 15


Angelic music will ring out in the city during this week’s Third International Harp Competition. Hosted by the Shostakovich Philharmonic in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the country’s best musicians with 40 to 47 strings will convene to find out who’s best.



Tuesday, Sept. 16


Lenexpo plays host to Tekhnodrev, a three-day convention that focuses on the woodworking industry in Russia. Promoting the latest technologies and trends, the event features not only exhibitors from some of Russia’s largest woodworking companies but representatives of the forestry industry, who will have their own coinciding forum.


Parlez-vous français? We don’t here at The St. Petersburg Times but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Join the British Book Center’s French Club meeting this evening at 6 p.m. in their location near Technologichesky Institut metro station.



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