Sochi Pillow Shortage 02

Sochi Is Running Out of Pillows

Four days before the Winter Games begin, Sochi staffers are looking for a few goose men

The Olympics officially kick off Friday. We imagine many a staffer and volunteer are scurrying around the Black Sea resort of Sochi, trying to prepare for the glamorous opening ceremony and making sure all security protocols are in place. But it turns out that Russia, despite spending a reported $51 billion on the most expensive Olympics ever, neglected a few key details. 

It appears there aren’t enough pillows for the athletes in the Olympic Village. This news comes via the Instagram posts of Luiza Baybakova, a member of the catering staff for the games.

Baybakova posted a picture of a notice to volunteers, which translates as follows:


Due to an extreme shortage of pillows for athletes who unexpectedly arrived to Olympic Village in the mountains, there will be a transfer of pillows from all apartments to the storehouse on 2 February 2014. Please be understanding. We have to help the athletes out of this bind.”

How We Know

We monitored both Russian-language social networks and Instagram for posts related to the Olympic Village, and ran across this controversial gem.

Either the athletes arrived early, or event planners somehow didn’t know when they were arriving. Regardless, it seems like volunteers and staffers might now be asked to give up their own pillows to accommodate the athletes. It’s in line with what other citizen bloggers are posting ahead of the Olympics, like this guy, who claims residents near the stadiums are forbidden from using wood-burning fireplaces to avoid unsightly smoke coming out of chimneys. Even though it’s the Winter Games.

Of the string of comments on the original Instagram post, maybe the last one says it all: “Fuck…and now the whole world laughs…”

Sochi is clearly and massively underprepared. It’s sad and alarming, considering the allegations of corruption and abuse surrounding these games. But there’s at least one amusing takeaway: the hashtags posted by Baybakova (which admittedly might seem funnier in English): “Help with the pillows! #Sochi2014 #Olympics #OlympicCamp #OlympicVillage #ManyAthletes #PillowForEveryone #TakingPillows #CantSleepWithNoPillow.”

On a subsequent post featuring a pillow, she added, “#TheyreTakingOurPillows #OlympicPillow #WhereDoAthletesComeFrom #PlzDontTake.”


#подушка #отбираютподушки #олимпийскаяподушка #откудаберутьсяспортсмены #незабирайтеплиз

Some other gems of Sochi’s under-preparedness, quirks and unusual solutions have been widely covered, including our own piece on the now infamous double toilet. Here are a few of the latest:

Sochi, So Not Ready

02/04/14 17:38 UTC@Leask

Hey it turns out giving the Olympics to a place with zero infrastructure for them was the stupidest idea

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02/04/14 16:06 UTC@wyshynski

People have asked me what surprised me the most here in Sochi. It's this. Without question ... it's ... THIS.

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02/04/14 03:02 UTC@StacyStClair

My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, "do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous." #Sochi2014

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02/04/14 16:52 UTC@hebeindc

Tough but fair. RT @mashable: You're not allowed to toilet fish at the Sochi Winter Olympics

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02/04/14 17:31 UTC@KristiLeskinen

Dear Olympian friends, maybe rescue a dog while you're there? #Sochi2014 orders killing of all stray dogs.

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02/04/14 17:42 UTC@traceylindeman

"The third room had a stray dog in it." Oh man. Read @bruce_arthur's rundown of #Sochi2014's unfinished construction:

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Respond Now
  • Unexpectantly arrived?  Didn’t they expect anyone to show up?

  • U always get bugged in former USSR 

  • It is estimated that up to 90% of the 51 billion dollars spent (more than all previous Winter Olympics combined) was siphoned off through graft and corruption

  • just great a used pillow with head lice P

  • Dogs’ purpose is to empty bins provided by toilet

  • Those are not stray dogs in your rooms, just another Russian high-tech security system. 

  • Show More
  • Give Obama a few more years and USA will be like Sochi

  • Works for the athletes and reporters about as well as Obamacare works for America.

  • It’s incentive to impeach socialists like Obama!  This kind of thing is what we can expect down the road.

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • You think we’re not dealing with such things now?  Why do you think Peyton played that badly?  No pillow!

  • DAMN! You think they (Sochi) would have known better than to consult with obama on how to organise things.

  • Someone had better check Putins’ bank accounts,see one happens to have an extra 51 billion dollars in it all of the sudden.  That money obviously went somewhere…l

  • Wow grow up everybody! We are not doing so good here!  There for the grace of God go I! I say thanks for sharing,showing your hospitality, and being real not a Paris Hilton Clone Mr. Putin.

  • Stop killing the stray dogs. It’s horrible!

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • kill em, kill em all.

  • sounds more like North Korea

  • I hope none of the borrowed pillows suffer from bedbugs.  WHAT a Sochi souvenier such tiny livestock would be.  Better to adopt a stray dog or cat and take it home.

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • Yeah, little Chechnian Jihadi bedbugs would not be a lot of fun.

  • WOW, Sochi is showing an entirely unique level of cluster-F..k

  • A nit-picking anti-Putin slam piece from an agenda-driven press.  I am sure if he started talking about how wonderful gays are all the negative press would disappear.

  • If you think for one minute I’m going to *sleep* using those “flea-bag” unsanitary “things” probably stinking of booze (vodka) – then they are quite mad!!… I would have several new ones Fedexed into my living accommodations!!They do have Fedex in Russia – don’t they?? Where is the Russian *Mitt Romney* when you need him – to fix this mess??

  • Ah Comrades look at great rebirth of USSR under Gerneral Secretary Putin.

  • Communism Fail!  Ha ha! Coming soon to America via Obama.

  • Why oh why has the OIC allowed this to happen?  It might be in the best interest of everyone if the 2014 Winter Games were just cancelled.  Safety is such a major concern.

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • It would devastate the athletes who have trained at great personal sacrifice to be there.  I just hope the primitive, stinky conditions are the worst that happens and that everyone comes home safely.  If then, it will simply be remembered as an adventure.  A FUNKY adventure, but an adventure.

  • DISGUSTING! Just goes to show what a dirty and unsanitary bunch of twats the Putin thugogarchs are! 

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • Hold on… they’re not that disgusting, they did out law homos.

  • aren’t they blaming the OBAMACARE fiasco on doctor shortage too?

  • this is the test run for the design and function of all the new OBAMAHOSPITALS

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • And what the Sochi types are doing to stray dogs, Obamacare will ultimately do to the elderly, the physically disabled, the mentally handicapped.  They are already killing off unwanted human children in utero, although not with guns.

  • OBAMA and the DEMOCRATS  are running the show here too??? I hope no one gets a scratch and needs medical attn

  • So?  what is that last box in the lower right hand corner (the toliet rules)mean?  His legs are spread…is that a bottle of lotion in his hand?

    2 Replies - Reply Now
    • I think its a hypodermic needle. So no heroin allowed.

      1 Reply - Reply Now
      • Pretty sure its a handful of doogie!  So, no doogie-art on the walls…  Dang.

    • I am mystified by several of the images in toilet rules.Men aren’t allowed to stand up to pee, or merely not allowed to splash (top right);  If you are sick, you are not allowed to PUKE into a toilet? (Middle left) If not, where ARE you supposed to puke?  OUt a window?  (Russian version of “garde loo?”  The middle right is absurd.  WHO stands on a toilet SEAT to do his/her biz?  WHO fishes in a toilet?  WHAT would they catch?  (unless the plumbing is so iffy snakes and lizards and fish might slither up from nether regions into the bowl)  The poster is so much fun I’m saving it onto my hard drive!

  • No toilet fishing in Sochi? No that’s going too far, I’m leaving. 

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • No neded for toilet fishing because they have excellent resturants in Sochi.

  • Pillow equality baby! Coming to a communist country near you, really really near you!

    • Absolutely terrible typo, fixed now. Thank you for flagging that.

  • The word “Sochi” is, I think, Russian for “Obama”.

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • WHERE IS MY “up!” button?

  • Got a feeling they’re going to find ‘everything’ wrong with Soshi as the you know who lobby, are not happy campers there wasn’t an Olympic boycott.  And all these morons in the media are either or are sympathetic.  Naturally.

  • This is 5-star luxury if you campare to the old Soviet communist era.

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • Here in NYC laughing my head off! Putin has a tremendous sense of humor.

  • Spam much ?


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