Newspaper writer gains 'fame' for Sochi hotel dirty water tweet

Feb. 5, 2014 at 6:11 PM   |   Comments

SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A Chicago Tribune writer is gaining notoriety for her tweets about substandard conditions at her hotel in Sochi, Russia, where she is covering the Winter Games.

Stacy St. Clair -- like many other media figures working the Winter Olympics -- was forced to stay in the hotel temporarily because the one she booked wasn't ready to receive guests. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach confirmed Monday about 750 hotel rooms -- 3 percent of the total planned to accommodate the crush of visitors to Sochi -- had some sort of problem.

St. Clair said the hotel where she was put up had problems, including a malfunctioning fire alarm that went off every 45 minutes and at least two different issues with the water -- at first there was none and then, when it did run, it was "dark yellow," St. Clair wrote in the Tribune.

"It was the color of apple juice or a performance enhancing drug test specimen," she wrote. "The shower left what looked like fish food flakes coating the tub."

St. Clair said when she notified the hotel management there was no water, she was told it would be fixed "in 40 minutes" but was also advised "when it comes back on, please do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous."

Once the water began running, she snapped a photo of it and tweeted it out with the caption: "On the bright side, I now know what dangerous face water looks like."

She said the tweet made her "extremely popular among my fellow journalists here in southwestern Russia. I've received tweets in Russian, German, Danish and languages I have not yet determined."

St. Clair was riding a bus Tuesday night when a Swedish photographer asked: "You are the dangerous face water woman, right?"

"I am now," she wrote in the Tribune. "Thanks a lot, Putin."

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