Sochi Winter Olympic Apocalypse is Here

By on January 23, 2014 in Freeskiing, Snowboarding with 0 Comments

Johnnie Balfour (right) reports from the ground in Sochi.


The scene in Sochi – unfinished is an understatement.

With the Olympic namings of the snowboarding team in Mammoth and the free ski team in Park City this past weekend, respectively, there’s no turning away from Sochi now. The long anticipated winter games in the heart of a political hotspot has the global media frothing at the mouth. Claims of terrorism, genocide an murder have ruled the conspiracy theories of this shitshow for months. Add to that the likelihood that the conditions will be piss poor (remember last year’s event being canceled due to lack of snow?) and you have the making’s of a international sporting meltdown of epic proportions.

Yet despite the propaganda no one has really been able to report from the ground with a level of authenticity that’s relatable to the action sports crowd. What the hell is really going on over there?

Well now we have it! Johnnie Balfore is a boardercross course builder (and former soldier) from Australia that recently touched down in Sochi. He posted a rant on his tumblr explaining his early experiences there and it does not disappoint. From pouring rain, expensive food, shoddy accommodations and possible money laundering, this is the first taste of what we might expect in this charade known as the Winter Olympics, Russian style.

Here’s a recap from Balfour’s blog post, showcasing how bad his first 48 hours in Russia have been. Can’t wait to see how this progresses. Assuming of course Balfour doesn’t get “silenced.”

“I enter my room and my heart sinks, this is no hotel. There are two small metal framed beds in the centre of the room with thin mattresses leaning against the wall. I turn to ask for some directions about tomorrow and find myself standing on my own. My “room” consists of two small rooms and a bathroom. Before I get a chance to explore, Nick turns up, soaking wet with a “Fuck this” look in his face….

So far nothing has gone as planned. They have wanted to pay us into Russian bank accounts for a few months now and we have fought them long and hard on this point. Yes, you read that correctly, they want us to open Russian bank accounts….

Before we left home we didn’t win the fight about the bank accounts but we did win the fight for them to pay us within ten days of us signing the contract. Well, that has now changed too. They are now telling us that they will pay us ten days AFTER we have gone home. I have a very strong feeling that we are never going to get paid. During the meeting I told them on no uncertain terms that what they are trying to do is total bullshit and if they had disclosed this information earlier, I would not have agreed to come here.”

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