Reporters from around the world are finally arriving in Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics, and their first impressions have not been favorable.
As The New York Times puts it: "The official mascots for the Winter Olympics are a polar bear, a hare and a leopard. ... What seem more apt are a hand drill, a backhoe and a shovel."
Media arriving early for the Olympics are finding that many of the hotels reserved for journalists aren't ready, and if they are, they're not very pleasant. A CNN crew experienced that firsthand. (Via Examiner)
"We are waiting for our rooms to be ready. Well, we've been sitting here for the last hour or so. ... We got one room ... The other two rooms weren't going to be ready today, so we checked into another hotel."
Other reporters have experienced the same type of delays as Sochi scrambles to complete construction, but for some of those who were able to check in, the experience has still been undesirable.
Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair posted a photo on Twitter, showing her hotel's yellow water.
Sporting News compiled several tweets from reporters showing small rooms, broken equipment, stray dogs and yes, side-by-side toilets — allowing you to get up-close and personal with strangers.
"Hey buddy, you done with that newspaper?" (Via KOAM)
This video from a Russian NHL editor shows what many others are reporting in the area — small beds and fairly bare rooms with few electronics. (Via YouTube / PavelL76)
Russia and the International Olympic Committee have both acknowledged the construction setbacks. Russia's government is reportedly forcing state-owned construction companies to pay for their delays. Olympic organizers told The Telegraph, "A wide range of contractors and partners are working round the clock to make sure that all of the rooms are ready in time for the arrival of guests."
But hotel delays might be the least of Russian President Vladimir Putin's worries.
Russia is also dealing with a flurry of terrorist threats and international backlash over the country's anti-gay laws. (Via Time, NBC)
The Winter Olympics opening ceremony begins Friday.