Flush twice: Sochi's bathroom 'tandem'

Last updated 06:29 23/01/2014
Sochi double toilets
STEVE ROSENBERG
FLUSH TWICE: BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg's photo of the double toilets stall at the cross-country and biathlon centre for the Sochi Olympics.

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It's a tale of two toilets.

When BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg went to use the bathroom at the cross-country skiing and biathlon centre 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 toilets side by side, including some said to be in a courthouse and a cafe.

The editor of the state R-Sport news agency said such communal toilets are standard at Russian football 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 Olympics, another joke has it that the second toilet was for a security officer.

The Sochi organising committee refused to comment.

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- AP

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