Growing up where it is almost always 65 degrees and sunny in the middle of winter and with limited experience in the snow, I hold a biased opinion about the Winter Olympics. Nevertheless, I had a hard time watching the XXIIWinter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. I would go as far as saying it was boring. I ended up asking myself how did skeleton become a sport in the first place?
This years Olympics were tainted by a number of non sports-related problems. First, Russia has been under great scrutiny from the world for the anti-gay culture which is backed up by their leaders. President Vladimir Putin disagrees with the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ and does not want young people exposed to gay people (The Guardian).
Also, there were many of worries about a possible terrorist attack in Sochi. This was heavily publicized and put a cloud over the usually joyous occasion with the idea of an attack in the back of everyone’s minds. Some people decided to not attend the Olympics because of this. Luckily, in the end there was no terrorist activity.
Finally, it was warm! The average temperature was around 50 degrees Fahrenheit which took away from the classic wintery scene we are all accustomed to seeing in past winter games. The warmest Sochi got was 68 degrees Fahrenheit; this heat had an impact on the condition of the snow most noticeably the half-pipe. The athletes took notice too
“It’s a little dangerous, I’ve seen more people fall then I saw all season,” said former gold medalist and Vermont native Hannah Teter in an interview with The Independent.
Once the athletes finally got onto the slopes, ice, halfpipes etc. there was little unforgettable action. Many of the favorites came home with gold medals and we did not see the same amount of unforgettable performances like in the summer games with Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps stealing headlines left and right. No disrespect, but there is a reason you have not heard much about Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. Still, the 40 year old deserves credit as he has been a mainstay in the Winter Olympics and has taken home medal after medal and now is the most decorated Winter Olympian ever with 13 medals won over the course of his career.
It is hard to not talk about the Jamaican bobsled team. These guys showed no fear as they represented there people back home with a positive and happy attitude. What else would you expect from the Jamaicans? Their competition did not let the cinderella story materialize and in the end, the Jamaicans finished poorly but the competitors definitely have a unique story to tell their grandkids.
If the Winter Olympics seemed to fly by this year, do not worry, you didn’t miss much.