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Journalists share Sochi hotel horror stories, but many Olympians 'haven't had a problem'

Feb. 5, 2014 at 12:02 PM ET

Some Sochi travelers are laughing through their tears.

Journalists who arrived in the Russian city to cover the Winter Olympics have been taking to Twitter over the last two days to describe the appalling, quirky and sometimes downright frightening scenes they encountered in hotels that were far from ready for guests — and their observations have quickly gone viral.

But Olympians who spoke to TODAY.com said their experiences have been quite different, and that they haven't encountered any issues so far.

The Olympic opening ceremony takes place on Friday, yet six of the nine hotels set aside for media continue to be under construction even while they check in reporters who have arrived from around the world to cover the Games. Mark Adams, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, addressed the complaints during a news conference Wednesday.

"It's a bit premature to say it's been a failure. They have delivered 24,000 rooms," he said. "Surely there have been some issues, but we are really doing our best." Adams said he was told that by now, "all the rooms have been delivered. The issues are connecting them to the phones, they need to be cleaned — and it's a small number of rooms, 1 to 3 percent."

And while journalists have documented their hotel horror stories, often with a hilarious bent, many Olympic athletes say they haven't run into similar problems. In fact, they raved about their accommodations.

“They’re top-notch, we haven’t had a problem at all,” Monique Lamoureux of the U.S. women's hockey team told TODAY.com. “I was stoked at the size of my room, I think it’s great. It has a nice bathroom, and it’s clean and well-kept, so it’s been great."

American pairs figure skater Simon Shnapir also lacked a single complaint about his hotel, which offered “absolutely huge” rooms. 

"We've really had no issues,” he said. “Everything is working out for us. Maybe we're lucky. The rooms are absolutely huge."

For some journalists, however, safety was more of an issue than room size.

Meanwhile, others like TODAY producer Libby Leist and Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant are finding humor in what may possibly be getting lost in translation, particularly around the bathroom.

TODAY anchor Willie Geist also joined in the fun, singling out some missed spots for one particular hotel's housekeeping crew.

Vidya Rao and Steve Veres contributed to this report.

Eun Kyung Kim is a writer based in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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