published Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Russia: Twin toilets photo at Sochi Winter Olympics bathroom goes viral

  • photo
    This photo taken on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, shows two toilets at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center for next month's Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SOCHI, Russia — At least one Olympic bathroom seems to be flush with toilets.

When BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg went to use the bathroom at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center for next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, he found two toilets but only one stall.

His tweeted picture instantly became a national joke.

Although toilets like that are not common in Russia, social media users posted photos of other side-by-side toilets, including ones in a courthouse and a cafe.

The editor of the state R-Sport news agency said such communal toilets are standard at Russian soccer stadiums.

"Why are the BBC folks scaring us?" Vasily Konov wrote in this personal Twitter account. "This is what the gents look like at football stadiums in Russia."

He posted a photo showing two urinals and three toilets in a large room.

Russians jested that the toilets in Sochi were designed for a "tandem," the name used to describe the duo of President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. One popular blogger altered Rosenberg's photo to put in a framed portrait of the two leaders above the toilets.

In a nod to the tight security measures imposed in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, another joke has it that the second toilet was for a Russian security officer.

The Sochi organizing committee refused to comment on the picture. The games run from Feb. 7-23.

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