By Britt Bickel

This morning, we talked with our Sochi Winter Olympics insider Nicole Alvarez, who is also a DJ for our sister station KROQ and is currently in Sochi to support her Olympian brother Eddy Alvarez as he competes on Team USA in the games.

Eddy Alvarez

(Eddy Alvarez/photo credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Nicole has been in Sochi for about a week now cheering on her brother Eddy as he goes for Gold in the men’s relay for short track speed skating.

“He’s feeling really good. He’s had a few things happen to him – he got knocked down twice and then he fell, but my brother is a super confident, spirited kid who just moves forward really easily,” she said. “So they’ve been practicing and they’re ready to do this.”

Though Eddy’s recent crash on Tuesday ultimately knocked him out of the running to qualify for an individual medal in the men’s 500-meter short track, he still has a chance to win gold as part of the men’s relay team.

When she hasn’t been in the stands cheering on her brother, Nicole has been sight-seeing around the Olympic Village and what Sochi has to offer. She quickly noted that the cultural differences with Russia’s food and bathrooms have been the biggest shock during her visit so far.

“[The food] is disgusting,” she laughed. “First of all they love bread, and I have celiac’s, but they have tongue and it’s just gross.”

She’s been sharing her odd run ins in Sochi regularly on her Instagram and Twitter accounts to give her followers a little taste of what daily life is like in Sochi.

As far as the bathrooms go, Nicole told us about her encounter with one of the crazy bathrooms in Sochi, which consisted of just a hole in the floor. To make matters worse, she said that there’s a tiny garbage can to throw away the “abrasive” toilet paper after first putting it in a plastic bag.

Besides the culture shock with the food and bathrooms, all in all Nicole says that she’s been “really impressed with the way that things have been handled” in Russia during her visit, noting that they’ve been “treated very kindly” and security has been tight.

“Russia is a harsh place, but it’s a harsh beautiful place,” said Nicole, adding that she’s looking forward to coming home soon. “I miss America and I love America, and that’s all I have to say.”

We wish all the luck to Nicole’s brother Eddy as he goes for gold this Friday in the men’s short track relay, and best of luck to the entire Team USA as the Sochi Winter Olympics come to a close!


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