We have all heard the stories coming from Sochi, Russia, regarding the disarray of an unprepared Olympic host country. I will not bore you with the same stories (i.e. yellow tap water, unfinished hotels, etc., etc.,) Rather, my intent is to discuss my observations of the 2014 Olympics so far, from the comfort of my own sofa.
Did anyone see this? Russian President Vladimir Putin appears in this photo to almost be smiling. Almost. As far as I have seen, this is as close to a smile as we have seen from the Russian President. Even at the end of the opening ceremony when each country’s team was introduced and it was finally Russia’s turn, still nothing. The cameras panned to him often and captured Putin, stone-faced and lightly clapping his hands. It was eery. It made me feel nervous.
I am having a hard time enjoying this year’s winter Olympics. To me, the Olympics represents sports men and women who are not only at the top of their game, but who are also dreamers. For years, they have dreamed BIG; the ultimate prize being able to represent their country and hopefully even medal in their sport in the Olympics. It’s difficult to see past the fact that the games are taking place in a country where, for so long, dreams were repressed. .As I watch the events, I do not get that feeling of dreams being realized even now. Perhaps the competitors are a bit anxious about the venue chosen to host this year’s games. With so much that has gone wrong, I know I would be.
The events have been lack-luster at best. Seeing empty seats in the ice rinks is so disappointing. The bottom line for me, is that in order for the USA, or any country for that matter, to experience success, the competitors and the spectators need to feel comfortable at the venue. Hopefully, as the days progress, comfort will come.
I truly hope I am incorrect in my assessment. I hope everyone there is relaxed, happy and are focused with their eye on the prize. Certainly, the USA team were radiant as they entered the opening ceremony.
Please leave your comments on this one. I am interested to know your take on the winter Olympics so far. Do you feel the same as I do? Do you see it a different way? I would like to hear from those of you who are from different countries, Russia included. I suppose, on some level, I am looking for someone to put my mind at ease.
With only 70% of tickets being sold, you still have time to pack up and go. Just follow the signs…
As for me, I’m quite comfortable on my sofa, under my blanket in the USA. There is no place I would rather be.