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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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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