Carly Agro - Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014 21:23

This rookie's just happy to be here

CBC broadcaster unruffled by accodomation quirks

Sochi construction workers fix up hotels.
Workers put the finishing touch on accommodation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (Gero Breloer/Associated Press)

I’ve been in Sochi for about 24 hours and I think I need to set the record straight.

Not everyone’s story from Sochi is a horror story. My accommodations are clean and comfortable. I have plenty of hot water that yes, I can wash my face with.

I feel safe and despite what my travel guide says, lots of the locals are smiling back at me. Yes, there is still obviously still work to be done, but there are plenty of people around who look very busy trying to finish the unfinished.

The floor in the unit I’m sharing with a colleague needed a good scrub when we first arrived, but not long after I saw a group of staff assembling mop buckets this morning did a knock, followed by a bucket, show up at our door.

The housekeeper even insisted on dusting around the mess of athlete cue cards and Russian crackers I have sprawled all over this table I’m typing on.

Yes, my toilet keeps running, but it flushes just fine. This morning I decided the constant water drip might drive my jet-lagged brain crazy after three weeks so I stopped by the reception desk to let the staff know, and guess what? The plumber who showed up a couple of hours later inspired me to write this. so did the slip-on blue shoe covers he put on to keep our freshly mopped floors clean. His co-worker, who’s giving him some back up in there right now motivated me to keep going, so did the slip-on blue shoe covers he put on.

I’m a rookie as far as Olympic experience goes. Maybe one day if I’m lucky I’ll be able to boast about the 11 Olympic Games I’ve covered like the awe-inspiring Scott Russell can. But until then, I don’t think I need a wealth of Olympic experience to be able to recognize hard work and consideration when I see it.

While others are rushing to post a picture of a stained piece of furniture, yellow water, or a rushed paint job on Twitter or Instagram I’d like to take a moment and say thank to all the people here in Sochi who have smiled at me so far and tried to make my stay that much more pleasant.

My Russian is awful, if it wasn’t for my Lonely Planet phrasebook that’s helping me spit out a spa-si-ba (Russian, for thank you), these people would have no idea how much I appreciate their effort.

Earlier today I listened to Canadian skeleton star Mellisa Hollingsworth talk about how naive she was at her first Olympic games and how it was a major advantage for her competition-wise. Maybe I’m naive, too.

Maybe not knowing what other Olympic accommodations and venues have been like is giving me an advantage over my counterparts to put up and shut up.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’m so excited to be here and be a part of all this that no lingering construction, dirty floor, or running toilet is going to spoil my time here.


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