Sochi nightmares show U.S. fortune
Published: Monday, February 17, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 17:02
The winter Olympics of 2014 has brought much attention to the town of Sochi and to the country of Russia.
U.S. Olympians seem to be holding their own, despite the fact they can not flush soiled toilet paper, drink the city’s water, take a hot shower or count on an elevator being there when they open the doors.
The problems with the hotel accommodations are obvious, since many of the reporters covering the games and our athletes are forced to temporarily reside in these dwellings.
The Russian government spent $635 million on a brand new interstate highway system passing right by a dilapidated apartment complex with SOS painted on the roof in red, according to the Huffington Post.
These apartments are basically 1941-style barracks with no indoor plumbing.
In fact, the outhouses being used by the tenants were taken down to make room for the highway.
That is just one of the massive expenses that went into putting on these Olympics.
Two new electric power plants were built to handle the electricity for the games, but the residents of Sochi suffer from constant blackouts.
It was estimated Russia spent more money than it took to put on all the previous winter Olympics combined.
It is also estimated that nearly half of the money, or more, was stolen by corruption.
I see all of these problems with Sochi, the crumbling old buildings, lack of adequate indoor plumbing, horrible construction practices and high levels of corruption, and all I can think is how lucky, or extremely fortunate, we are in the United States.
We are not void of corruption, bad infrastructure or even low-quality workmanship.
However, even though I grew up in one of the poorest regions of the country, I can never remember a time I had to be consciously aware of not throwing my used toilet paper in the toilet or having to take a trip to the outhouse at 4 a.m.
I never had to wait on a fire to heat enough water so I could bathe or worry about drinking the water out of my fountain because of contamination.
Despite the abundance of issues in America that we have to face from day-to-day, Americans have it pretty good.
There may be plenty of room for improvement in this country and many problems that plague our society.
But I am thankful I can ponder and read about these issues while I sit indoors, upon my comfortable porcelain throne, and not have to worry about how I am going to get rid of the paper when I am done.