It’s no secret that this year’s Olympic host has not been up to par when it comes to amenities and accommodations for the athletes. Athletes and attendees alike have been heavily utilizing social media, posting comical pictures on Twitter and Instagram of the poor conditions, such as several toilets in one room with no stalls to provide privacy or the flooded hallways of a hotel when a water main broke. However, it turns out that this sort of subpar service now extends to even the athletic events. Several snowboarders, due to compete in the halfpipe event tomorrow, have complained of the Sochi halfpipe’s condition. Apparently, as riders practiced, the halfpipe began deteriorating, making it increasingly difficult for riders to pull off the tricks that they are accustomed to landing without problems. Several previous gold-medalists of the event, including Shawn White and Hannah Teter, expressed concerns over the condition of the pipe, worried that its inferior quality might cause unwanted injuries.
At this point, we are only a few days into the Olympic games, and we have to wonder what other snags Sochi might hit during future events. It begs the question: should we reconsider how the host cities for the Olympics are selected? While the economies of lesser cities may benefit from the tourism and revenue that the games always generate, it is quite unfair that our hardworking athletes are not being treated as well as they have been in the past. The Olympics have always represented a certain unity; the countries involved take pride in their athletes. If our athletes no longer get the treatment they deserve and their performances waver, the games may just become a mockery and the world will lose one of the very few things it actually does together.