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5 Sochi stories that are so absurd, it's hard to know what's truth and what's fiction.

This meme of Putin is going viral on Twitter

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics has been plagued with bad news stories. Prior to the Olympics, it was all about Russia’s poor human rights (especially their stance on gays).

Then it changed gear to whether the Olympic site would actually be ready (with reports only 6 of the 9 media hotels completed a couple days before the Opening Ceremony).

And now the stories have become so unbelievable that the line between what is truth and what is fiction is not so much blurry, as completely invisible. There are reports of stray dogs in hotel rooms, horribly racist abuse online, murders being treated as ‘accidental’ and hotel guests being spied on while showering.

Things are so terrible that the Twitter handle #SochiProblems has gone viral. Here are the big stories everyone is talking about:

1. Don’t drink the water. Even if you get lucky and some comes out of the tap.

On the 4th of February, twitter exploded with journalists complaining of a major water shut down. And when the water came back on, it wasn’t exactly…well…tasty.

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2. The most prestigious gig in the games has gone to a racist.

Irina Rodnina, Russia’s most successful figure skater, had the extreme privilege of being nominated to light the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony.

The issue? The way she conducts herself publicly leaves a lot to be desired. In September 2013, she tweeted this photo of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with a banana… seemingly to suggest that the African-American president and his wife were apes.

Seriously. Off.

According to the Guardian, in response (and after deleting the tweet) Rodnina said there was nothing wrong with the photograph and that it had been sent to her by friends in America. “Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and you should answer for your own hang-ups.”

3. Journos are being spied on. While in the shower.

It is not surprising that the journalists covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi are being spied on. This is just assumed. What is not assumed is that their showering habits are of particular interest to Russian authorities.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Deputy Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak let it slip that he had footage of journalists showering. To be fair he was trying to give an example of how the journalists were purposefully trying to sabotage the state of the Olympics.

“Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations, seemed to reflect the view held among many Russian officials that some Western visitors are deliberately trying to sabotage Sochi’s big debut out of bias against Russia.

“We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day,” he said. An aide then pulled a reporter away before Mr. Kozak could be questioned further on surveillance in hotel rooms. “We’re doing a tour of the media center,” the aide said.”

Oops.

4. Russia does not make mistakes. And when it does? Someone dies.

Over the weekend, news sites were alive with what happened after the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony stuff up. In case you didn’t tune in, at one stage there were five electronic snowflakes. They were supposed to morph into the 5 Olympic rings. Four of them co-operated with one remaining as a snowflake.

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This followed with a news story (now confirmed as a hoax) that the technical specialist was found dead in his Sochi hotel room with multiple stab wounds. Authorities confirmed that they were investigating it as an accidental death.

What is scary is that this story was so believable by so many it went viral. It is the kind of story we are expecting to surface from the games.

The true story though is that the Russian network covering the Opening Ceremony switched feeds from the live Opening Ceremony to the rehearsal show. Why? Because all the snowflakes participated in the rehearsal. So all of Russia was informed that the Opening Ceremony went perfectly smoothly.

5. The toilets. Oh the toilets. They come in pairs and please don’t flush.

The toilets could have an entire webpage, Twitter and Facebook site dedicated to them.

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With the Games finally starting, all Russian officials are hoping the attention will be turned to the athletes. And that they behave. And not tweet anything.

Are you watching the winter olympics? How are you enjoying the Games? Do you think all of these reports are true? Or are some of the stories just hoaxes….

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