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  • Even though the Opening Ceremonies just started (they began at 11am today and NBC will re-broadcast it tonight 7:30pm) the buzz and drama surrounding this year’s Winter Olympics seems to have reached a fever pitch.

    From the IOC’s decision in choosing Russia as a host country, to the massive and expensive corruption, the Sochi Olympics have taken on a big, distracting narrative all it’s own. While the hysteria of an unprepared Olympic Village is common (most host cities undergo a “will they be ready!?” scare) Sochi is clearly unique.  Certainly this is the first year in recent memory where the preparations have detracted so heavily from what the Olympic games are all about: the athletes.

    Recently, the internet has been chock full of tweets, instagrams and articles about the absurd hotel accommodations that await reporters and athletes. Katie Baker of Grantland details some of the troubles she’s encountered since arriving in Sochi.

    I arrived at my hotel at the same time as a friendly journalist from Montreal, and when we got to our adjacent rooms (both supposedly temporary until our real rooms are ready), his door handle broke off in his hand. His first souvenir! My bathroom has red Sharpie marks delineating where additional construction should have gone, an unidentified device was attached high up on the wall with masking tape, and there was no caulking. But my hot water works, my pillow is fantastic, and I have lightbulbs, which places me in the top percentile of accommodation privilege.

    Ms Baker’s fantastic pillow is a privilege indeed, as there seems to be a pillow shortage in Sochi.

    Unfortunately, many athletes have been affected by the preparations in Sochi as well. On Wednesday, US Olympic snowboarder Shaun White pulled out of the Olympic slopestyle contest, citing concerns of injuries. “With the practice runs I have taken, even after course modifications and watching fellow athletes get hurt, the potential risk of injury is a bit too much for me to gamble my other Olympics goals on,” White said.

    On Thursday, the Women’s Alpine Skiing Downhill training run was delayed for over an hour due to safety concerns. According to Reuters, the main problem had been the skiers sent down to check the course before the start of training, known as forerunners, were too slow.

    So, where does this leave you? What do you think about what’s happened leading up to this year’s Olympics? Will you be watching? If so, are you excited? Cautiously optimistic? Let us know in the comments.

     

  1. There certainly has been plenty of talk. There was another article that may claims that American journalists have been engaging in shadenfreude. This is the link to the article: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116507/russians-hit-back-west-cool-it-olympic-schadenfreude

    Just an interesting point, but I still think a lot of this post is relevant.

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