With concerns over housing not being finished, water that looked like urine, and terrorist threats to ruin the games, it looked like the Olympics were going to get off to a very rough start. However, once the games began, everything seemed to fall into place and has been flowing like a river, although often at just a trickle. Weather, physical conditions, injuries and other factors contributed to many ups and downs during the 2014 Olympic Games. The cost of hosting the whole shebang is astronomical with no guarantee of future revenue from same. I do hope that Putin is ready to accept that reality.
Since the night before the Opening Ceremony I have hardly been able to do anything else aside from watch or listen to the TV coverage. There have been so many new events added to almost every sport, it has become mind boggling to try and keep track of it all. I should have gotten all crafty and made a board to keep track of the events that are on but I was overwhelmed too quickly, getting too far behind. I just wasn't prepared for all the new additions to each category. Now I am totally lost.
Speaking of the Opening Ceremony... I thought it was fantastic. Well, until I saw the ugly Christmas sweaters the USA athletes were wearing. Ralph Lauren, what were you thinking? Wait. Was it a joke?
My old favorite athletes (from the 2010 Games) didn't seem to fare too well this year, if they even made it to Sochi, but new heroes have risen from the ranks of the unknown. As always, you are taken through every emotion possible, even when the skating star from an opposing country has to withdraw due to a hurt back. Your heart just aches for them. And once you know your country lost, you can cheer on a new star from Japan or wherever.
Bode Miller (my fave downhill skier) didn't seem to have fully healed from past injuries and surgeries. Lindsey Vonn was still healing from her latest injuries and surgeries, missing Sochi altogether. Skiing is truly one of the hardest sports on your body, mainly your joints but broken bones as well. Then time gets its hand in things and you know how that story goes. I think it's about even with football players. All that impact with the ground and such. As the games continued Bode's luck on the hill never really improved. Ted Ligety, however, shined like the star he really is. Can we spell YOUTHFUL and bullet proof?
In skiing, there is a point at which you realize that you are no longer bullet proof. When that happens, you're toast, baby.
Then, the major top dawg in snowboarding misses his flips on the half-pipe and even more new stars are born. But the US women swept snowboarding on that same half-pipe. Go figure. I'm not sure if that was the regular snowboarding events or the new ones. I'm so confused by it all. Too many new events for this old lady to keep up with.
How about the fact the US beat Russia in hockey after an overtime of 8 shoot-outs? The US finally prevailed. That felt pretty sweet and I'm not even a hockey fan. Our guy was really outstanding as he repeatedly shot the puck into the goal. SCORE!
One thing I've loved this year in alpine skiing, snowboarding and luge/bobsled/skeleton is the fact that they can visually track one skiers' run with another skier at the same time with something like a superimposed image on the screen. Pretty cool that, too. You can see exactly where the slower skier made their mistakes while the faster took the tighter lines down the hill. It fascinates me. What an amazing tool for development and improvement.
Last of all, the US Olympics *powers that be* finally realized their athletes have more varied and specific dietary needs this year than ever, so they took their own chef and kitchen crew to Sochi. They shipped massive amounts of foods over to Russia along with products they knew they couldn't get there, all in an effort to keep the athletes healthy, as they are used to here at home. What a major production it must have been! Still, members of the team had to scramble to locate what they could locally, because most stores had already been sold out to the rest of the cooks for the Olympians. I can't even imagine what kind of craziness it all was.
All that said... I'm now growing weary of the Olympics. Time to move on and see what other wonders life has in store for us. Just another sign that I'm cresting the hill of never understanding anything about the Olympics from here on. The circle of life continues to turn...