Wednesday, January 22, 2014

T Minus 15 Days...

I have recently gone through a cross-country move and now feel at least settled in enough to start thinking about the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Here are a few things I am excited for!







1. There will be twelve new winter sports! Some of the sports will be similar in nature to what has been present in past competitions, but I believe there will be a few highlights. Team figure skating should be an interesting mix of individual, pairs, free skating, and much more- what's not to love about that? Next, I think ski halfpipe will be very exciting to watch. I'm originally a Colorado girl and a skier more than a snowboarder (but believe me, I tried). However, I've always enjoyed watching the original halfpipe competitions that allow snowboarders to do all sorts of tricks and jumps on the pipe. Now, skiers get to join in too! Lastly, I can't wait to see women compete in ski jumping for the first time. It makes me step back a little and think, that wasn't a thing before? The Olympics are coming a long way towards equalizing events to include both women and men competitors, but there is still work to be done.

2. Some sweet-looking venues! The Sochi team really seems to have gone above and beyond the normal facility arrangements to create some beautiful stadiums. However, as I've noted before, I hope that these venues do not sit idly by as the years pass and the legacy of the 2014 Games is revealed.

Bolshoi Ice Dome (Olympics.com)

3. Opening and Closing Ceremonies that highlight the history and culture of Russia- especially if they include some sort of homage to the manliest of manly men, Vladimir Putin. If he doesn't personally ride into the arena on horseback (shirtless) whilst also tackling a bear, I believe Russia will have missed a grand opportunity.

from tomatobubble.com

4. How the issue of gay rights will be handled at this year's games (see my previous post, Sport is a Human Right). There's been enough controversy and talk about this issue to fill another hundred posts, so I'll keep it simple- how will gay athletes be treated? How about gay fans? And in the end, will this be what is remembered about the Sochi Games? I certainly hope not, but it's surprising how little the Olympics are remembered for the sports themselves.

5. The fanfare, beauty, excitement, camaraderie, controversy, and everything in-between that comes with those famous five rings. No matter what happens, you can guarantee that I'll be soaking in as much as possible  to keep me stable until 2016!

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