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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

DAY 13 OF THE SOCHI WINTER OLYMPICS

From potential terrorism to no snow to a lack of spectators, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics faced daunting odds.  Well, the worst has not yet happened, although you might have noticed that there are always a lot of empty seats for even the most popular events, and TV ratings are down compared to Vancouver in 2010.  Well, what can you expect when nothing is live (unless you are a night owl), for there is a 9- to 12-hour time difference from Sochi (14 hours for Hawaii).  There is minimal drama, as people like me give away the results before you have had a chance to comfortably watch the competitions at night.

Winter sports are not high on the priority list for Americans.  Except for a few rabid fans from NFL cities, who ever watches the luge or the Nordic combined or curling?  Curling has been disastrous for Team USA.  We don't pick all stars, we send the equivalent of the New York Knicks to challenge the world.   For the record, curling is deemed the easiest and the Nordic combined the most difficult of the 21 events.  

My personal snow experience, which is no different from most reading this posting, is limited.  I was on a curling sheet when in college and only remember that it was cold.  I actually sprained both ankles when I tried ice skating and crashed into a white picket fence on the Bunny Hill when I attempted to learn how to ski.

The 1960 Winter Olympics were held at Squaw Valley in California, and a small group of us drove nearly four hours from the Stanford campus to the olympics site when we were sophomores, but ended up watching the movie, Gone with the Wind (rated 96 by Rotten Tomatoes), in Reno, about a 45 minute drive away.  The film was nearly four hours long, and we returned back to our dormitory past midnight and did not bother to participate in one outdoor activity.  

Here are the best Putin photos I could find, all from:


starting with his entrance at the opening ceremonies:


Putin on a Ritz (got it?) and with Toronto Mayor Bob Ford. Taking off his shirt was one of the prime expectations on the level of interest about Johnny Weir's wardrobe (from the London Daily Mail):


If you watched any Sochi TV, you would have gotten familiar with two former Team USA skaters, now NBC figure skating commentators.  Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, together (and they have adjoining rooms), brought six "car-sized" suitcases containing a hundred items, including 22 pairs of shoes, 25 blazers, four fur coats (all owned by Weir), six pairs of leather pants, nine designer purses and 10 pounds of jewelry.

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
Medal standings
        COUNTRY              GOLD             SILVER           BRONZE
1
Germany
8
3
4
15
2
Norway
7
4
7
18
3
Netherlands
6
6
8
20
4
United States
6
4
10
20
5
Russia
5
8
6
19
6
Switzerland
5
2
1
8
7
Belarus
5
0
1
6

The USA has tied the Netherlands at the top with 20 medals each.

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