To a fanfare of controversy, Sochi 2014 has begun. There’s snow, ice, lycra and anti gay legislations, but so far it looks like Putin’s people are going to pull off a successful and high profile games.
Back in November we put together a list of the Team GB women hoping to top the podium, however let’s face it, until quite recently most people in Britain didn’t realise we had so many capable winter sport athletes…or that there was even a Winter Olympics. I for one was adamant until my late teens that Torvil and Dean’s gold medal winning routine was the inclusion of figure skating one year at the Summer Olympics. Yes we’ve had the occasional British sporting superstar throughout Winter Olympics history (Amy Williams, Curling Ladies, 4 Man Bobsleigh – we mean you), but in general I think it’s been the mentality of this green and pleasant land that the Winter Olympics should be saved for countries that have regular bouts of snow and mountains.
However with the hope of some medals this year and a realisation by the BBC that the British will watch and get involved in any sport put in front of them, there’s full coverage, commentary and red button replays. So, in my student status I am making it my aim to watch and possibly understand all the events in the Sochi schedule.
My observations so far are:
- Unlike the Summer Olympics, that majority of the sports in the Winter Olympics will kill you if they go wrong – if you fall off a bike it will hurt a lot, if you crash whilst pelting down a hill head first on a small tea-tray-like structure it will hurt even more.
- The outfits are far better
- Grown men are happy to wear shiny white lycra
- Long track speedskating is Holland’s second most watched sport after football
- Togo, Zimbabwe and Tonga are sending athletes for the first time ever
Image from bloggokin.it (thanks) Also check out this site for all the Sochi graphics, they’re actually awesome.