Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#Sochiproblems: A Rebuttal

Most of us have seen or heard of #sochiproblems, the tweet hashtag documenting problems and weird situations journalists and athletes are encountering during the Winter Olympics.  Some of the most popular tweets involve the water quality.

From AP reporter Will Graves.
Z Geographer, however, has a bit of a rebuttal.  He sees a Western lack of understanding and a bit of being spoiled by living in the best parts of the United States as a reason this shocks people.  A key take away line is

"The World Health Organization, one of several UN organizations tracking the seventh Millennium Development Goal (halving the number of people without access to improved drinking water sources), reported in 2013 (using 2011 data) that 768 million people don’t have access to improved drinking water. And that’s just “improved” drinking water. As our vociferous news correspondents in Sochi will tell you, having an improved drinking water source isn’t necessarily a potable water source".

All of these are very good points.  What may be "good enough" for Russian domestic tourists could seem backwards to Westerners.  When I was in Afghanistan, the only hotel in the nearby town was a seven-room house with each room having a bed and a space heater.  There was an outhouse in the yard.  Yet, all the Afghans I talked to about the hotel said it was a good place to stay if they had to spend the night.

Then again, as another friend said, the $51 billion dollars spent negates the poor infrastructure argument.

From @Sochiproblems

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