Sochi problems Twitter account goes viral

2014-02-10 07:29
Fireworks explode behind the Olympic flame during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Odd Andersen)

Fireworks explode behind the Olympic flame during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Odd Andersen)

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Sochi - A Twitter account highlighting the myriad teething problems that have plagued the Winter Olympics has attracted 324 000 followers - 120 000 more than the official Sochi account.

Describing itself, the @SochiProblems account says: "I'm a mess, and not prepared for you! Our athletes live like Kings!"

There has been widespread criticism that not all the facilities were ready on time for the Olympics, in particular accommodation for media, despite the estimated price tag of $50bn for building facilities and infrastructure in the underdeveloped southern Russian region.

Tweets on the account show examples of shoddy workmanship, poor plumbing; accommodation littered with debris and unsightly areas close to the Olympic stadium.

It even features stray dogs on the streets, an issue that has caused a stir.

US athlete Johnny Quinn tweeted a picture of a bathroom door he was forced to smash down after becoming stuck.

"...With no phone to call for help, I used my bobsled push training to break out," he said.

Other tweets poke fun over the glitch at the opening ceremony, when one of the Olympic rings failed to open.

The account is reportedly the brainchild of a Canadian journalism student called Alex Broad.

"When I first did it, that constant thought in my brain was like, 'OK now it's going to take off,'" he told the Toronto Observer.

"I sent two Tweets out, it's going to blow up. And I sat there and nothing happened, I was, like, 'You know what, if I get 15 followers that will be cool.'"

The next time he checked @SochiProblems, the number of followers had leapt.

"I couldn't believe how much it had escalated and it just blew my mind," he said.

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