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CBC's Karin Larsen in Korea: Help! I'm trapped in my room and I can't get out

Last night I was returning to my highrise in the media village when I noticed a woman hanging over one of the apartment balconies, waving her arms and shouting.

When doorknobs go bad, hilarity ensues

One of the offending door handles in the 2018 Olympics media village that have trapped several people inside their apartments. (Karin Larsen/CBC)

We have a doorknob problem. 

Last night, at 1 a.m., I was returning to my highrise in the media village when I noticed a woman hanging over one of the apartment balconies, waving her arms and shouting.

It seemed very "damsel in distress," so, slightly alarmed, I hurried to see what was happening.

I noticed it was my apartment and roommate, Charlsie Agro, doing the arm waving and shouting.

Seems a faulty doorknob was holding her hostage in her bedroom and she was trying to flag someone down to catch her keys and come around through the inside of the building to set her free.  

This was not the first doorknob dilemma of the Games.

I was also trapped by a bad doorknob on my first morning here, which led to a flurry of phone calls and hilarious misunderstandings:

Me: "I'm trying to leave for work but I'm trapped inside my room."

Building manager: "You want leave? Just open door."

Me: "But I can't. The door won't open."

Building manager: "You should unlock door."

Me: "The door is unlocked. But it still won't open."

Building manager: "Ah, OK. I send someone to let you in."

Me: "But I'm already in. I'm trying to get out."

About an hour later a nice man arrived to #freekarin.

Our other roommate Kristen McLaren, a camera op from Toronto, has also been victimized by a malfunctioning doorknob — only hers locks her out of her room. 

In the big picture, our doorknob difficulty isn't completely surprising. The Gangneung media village — 23 highrises of two- and three-bedroom units — was built new for the Pyeongchang Olympics. We are its first inhabitants, destined to discover all the little deficiencies.

A view of the Gangneung media village for the 2018 Olympics. The apartments will be sold off to the public following the Games. (Karin Larsen/CBC)

It was the same scenario in 2014 in Sochi, where one of the funnier problems was the curtains — or lack thereof.

My lovely apartment had floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedroom with a view across a lane to another bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows. Despite assurances curtains were coming, they never did.

For the first week I did my best to avoid eye contact with the man across the lane, as did he with me. But by the end of the Olympics we accepted our curtainless fate and would wave and smile and shrug every morning. 

All said, the accommodations in Pyeongchang are excellent and organizers should be commended. The units, like Vancouver's athlete's village from 2010, will be sold to the public when the Games are finished.

Interested buyers might want to test the doorknobs first.