Capitals star winger Alex Ovechkin defended the organizers of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, who are taking a beating this week after a torrent of criticism over accommodations in the city.
Unfinished hotel rooms, open manhole covers, plumbing issues and much more greeted journalists who arrived in Sochi this week. The opening ceremonies are Friday night, though competition has already begun. Ovechkin will compete for Russia , which has not won a medal in mens hockey in the last two Olympics in Salt Lake City and Torino. He also participated in those games.
“I’ve been in three Olympic games and I remember Turino and Vancouver and nobody said about something bad in Vancouver or Turnino,” Ovechkin told reporters after Thursday’s morning skate at Kettler Iceplex. “Why you guys always…try to find some bad things in Sochi. Sometimes it’s just funny to see how people try to find ‘Oh, they have, like, [no] lights in the toilets’ or ‘They have bathroom in toilets.’”
There have been pictures on Twitter of small bathrooms with multiple toilets, though no stalls, and urinals without any pipes at all. According to the Wall Street Journal, hotels for athletes, at least, appear to be relatively intact and Russian officials have vehemently denied problems are any more widespread than at other Olympics. Ovechkin won’t arrive until Sunday, but he tried to make the same point.
“It’s Olympics, guys. Come on. Like everybody have to be enjoy it and don’t find bad stuff out there,” Ovechkin said. “Like in Turino we lived where construction was and nobody say about that. Of course the world is changing and everybody like hopes [for] different stuff, political stuff, but…just settle down.”