Creator of Popular @SochiProblems Twitter Account is 20-Year-Old Journalism Student

The mastermind of the most viral social media phenomenon surrounding the current Olympic Games is a 20-year-old journalism student at Toronto’s Centennial College named Alexander Broad.

The Toronto Observer, Centennial’s student newspaper, describes Broad as “the most Canadian kid you could ever meet … [a] down-to- earth, Tim Hortons coffee-drinking, sports junkie who wears plaid shirts, trucker hats and work boots.”

He is also the creator of @SochiProblems, a Twitter account that has massively impacted the media and cultural zeitgeist as the main prism through which many have viewed the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Featuring images of a city in disrepair, Olympic venues embarrassingly under construction until the last moment and hotel rooms lacking basic amenities and instead sporting odd accoutrements (some later called out as hoaxes), Broad’s tweets have spurred a ton of press and online chatter — and nabbed him more than 336,000 followers in less than a week.

As one tweeter notes: “The star of the Winter Games may not be an athlete or a team, but the @SochiProblems twitter feed.”

To be clear, Broad is not in Sochi. He simply picked up on the stream of complaints coming from journalists and travelers during the run-up to the Games. And in a spur-of-the-moment brainstorm recognized the popular “problems” sensation that has been a hit for a few years now on social media (including College Problems) could be applied to the Olympics as well.

The Observer’s summary of events: “Take an unusually slow day in a Toronto college journalism school newsroom, and a journalism student with a love of sports. Now add controversy over the 2014 Sochi Olympic preparations, and some social media. What you end up with is @SochiProblems.”

Broad’s take on his sudden fame and its potential professional impact: “Nowadays anything can boost your career, any little thing. Sometimes it’s a foot in the door, sometimes you know someone, sometimes someone picks you up for your writing, and sometimes it could be … just an account on Twitter.”


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  1. […] wildly popular @SochiProblems Twitter account was started by a 20-year-old journalism student. But College Media Matters’ Dan Reimold did. This is the account that quickly amassed more followers than the official Sochi […]