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.
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!