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Mac & Gaydos

Canadian journalist recounts Sochi hotel horrors

One of the biggest stories of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia has been the poor accommodations for athletes and journalists alike.

While the athletes have been fairly quiet, some journalists have been commenting on unfinished hotels, lack of electricity and general chaos when it comes to getting a place to stay.

Mark Connolly, who works for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, is one of those journalists. His place basically proved the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

“From the outside, they looked fantastic,” he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos on Friday. “But as I got closer, I could see the foyer of my apartment building was just a disaster. I mean, it looked like they were still building it.”

Connolly said there was garbage and debris everywhere and it smelled like drywall dust. But that wasn’t his favorite part.

“There were about 150 stand-up coat hangers…in the hallway. It was like trees.”

But his place wasn’t the worst. He had friends and colleagues who had no power, no hot water or, in one case, an open sewer pipe in their room.

So how do they house all the journalists? Connolly said some of his cameramen had to sleep on couches because they did not have beds and others are constantly on the move.

“They’ve been moving people around to different apartments if their apartment isn’t quite done,” he said.

Connolly brushed off rumors of cameras in the hotel rooms.

“I’ve been looking around for cameras but I haven’t seen any,” he laughed. “If they’re watching me, that’s fine. I don’t have anything to hide.”

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