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Olympic potty talk

January 23, 2014 - Chris Knight
I was sitting at my desk around 8 a.m. Tuesday, typing away, when Enterprise Outdoors and Sports Writer Mike Lynch piped up.

“Hey Chris,” he says. “Looks like you and Lou are going to have to share a bathroom stall while you’re out in Sochi.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

Mike showed me a link to a picture that had been tweeted by BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg of a bathroom stall at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center in Krasnaya Polyana. There’s one stall but, strangely, two toilets, side-by-side.

Within minutes, everyone in the newsroom had seen the picture and was commenting on it. There was talk of Photoshopping it to make it look like Lou and I are sitting on each toilet, holding hands. By the end of the day, the Rosenberg photo had gone viral and became the butt, pun intended, of plenty of jokes.

The first thing that flashed in my mind after seeing it was the old “Saturday Night Live” commercial parody for the “Love Toilet,” featuring Kevin Nealon and Victoria Jackson. I found a clip of it online.

“You found that one special someone, and you never want to be apart,” the announcer says. “You dine together. You sleep together ... So why not share the most intimate moment of them all with the Love Toilet?”

Have the Russians done it again? Have they beaten us in the race to perfect the Love Toilet? First Sputnik, now this?

Well, the real story is that these kind of “dual-toilets” are not common in Russia, the Associated Press reported, although Russian social media users posted photos of other side-by-side toilets. The editor of the state R-Sport news agency said these kinds of communal toilets are standard at Russian soccer stadiums.

The Sochi organizing committee refused to comment on the picture. At some point, the two toilets were replaced with cabinets, based on a Reuters photo the New York Daily News had posted Wednesday on its website.

I’ll be covering biathlon when I get to Sochi, so I’ll make finding this bathroom stall and writing a follow-up story, with reaction from our local Olympians and their parents, a top priority.


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