The Olympics started today and much has been made of the living conditions in Sochi.
From crazy bathrooms to missing plumbing to dangerous tap water, it has been a bit of a debacle, finding expression on Twitter and other social media sites.
Madison Bowey showing off the U18 championship hardware
Kelowna Now checked in with Rockets captain Madison Bowey who traveled to Sochi last year for the U18 World Hockey Championships. Bowey stayed in many of the same places and played in the venues that Team Canada is currently experiencing at the Olympics.
Perhaps the half-finished, shoddy workmanship shouldn't surprise us as Bowey said that when he was in Sochi last April there was a bit of work done on the venues but that he honestly didn't 'expect them to finish it all in time'.
The Kelowna Rockets defenceman also had to deal with the same beds that have been trending on Twitter. “The beds were about 3x6 ft so I know myself and a bunch of the guys' feet were hanging off and if you rolled over you would fall off,” Bowey said. “So you had to get used to sleeping still.”
The food was another major issue for the team, with meat dishes particularly suspect. “We didn't even know what we were eating. The meat could've been anything. A lot of us joked about it being dog but we didn't know,” Bowey said, adding that the team was forced to turn to stashes that they brought from home. “Luckily we brought Nutella over there so that was pretty much all we ate.”
What's for breakfast, Sochi? Tinned peas and marmalade? Mmmmm pic.twitter.com/JLIls7jQne— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) February 5, 2014
As for adjustments from travel and jet lag, Bowey also experienced the long journey firsthand. He expressed confidence that Team Canada will acclimate quickly. “I'm sure that they will have to get used to it a little bit but they are pros and shouldn't really have a problem. From personal experience I adjusted pretty quickly because our team doctor prepared us for it nicely.”
One of the greatest experiences that Bowey had while in Russia was the opportunity to play in the same rink where Team Canada will first take the ice on Feb 8 (women) and Feb 13 (men). The affable Rockets rearguard called the facility “unreal” and all the rinks they played in “amazing”.
A picture of the Olympic hockey venue that Bowey snapped last April
So, while Canada may have some hardships in living conditions, food and jet lag, at least the rink where the Olympic magic will happen is world class. At the end of the day, we may follow them on Twitter and laugh at their posts, but what happens on that sheet of ice is all that Canadian hockey fans really care about.