Finally, after much anticipation the winter Sochi Olympics is underway. Originally scheduled to begin on the 7th of February, opening rounds began on the 6th. It would seem that preparations for the event were smooth enough that it was decided to start it a day earlier.
After four years the winter games are finally here. Last held in Vancouver, Canada; the host for the 2014 winter Olympic Games is Sochi, a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. Sochi was selected from a list of possible hosts that included Salzburg, Austria and Pyeongchang, South Korea making it the first time ever that Russia has hosted the winter Olympics. This year’s Olympic Games have even include 12 new events to the roster. These never events are the ski half pipe, ski slope style, snowboard parallel slalom among others. With the added events the duration for the winter Olympics has also been extended making it the longest version of the winter games.
Although preparations have gone better than expected, there were a few concerns regarding the games being hosted in Sochi. Many were concerned about the well-being of the participants and those attending the games with the threat of a terror attack looming over everyone’s head. Not to mention the gay rights controversies surrounding the games that had everyone doubting the success of the games. Poor preparation by the host for the winter Olympics was also one of the reasons why many lacked confidence in Russia’s ability to properly host the event. Despite concerns and criticism, the Sochi Games as planned are well underway.
There are however a few minor setbacks that need to be taken into account. One being that Sochi might lack the capacity to accommodate all the tourists coming to watch the games and the cost to travel might also be overpriced for many. These factors combined might limit the overall tourist participation.
With so many countries participating in the games, the stakes are high as always. The games mean more to Russia than any other participating country for two important reasons. First of all, as president Vladimir Putin stated, these games would help the world experience a better Russia and create and overall positive impression of the country. President Putin personally supervising the operations of the events is proof of how determined he is to ensure that the goal is met. The second reason is that being the host of the games their reputation is at stake. Hosting an event the country participates in means that they are expected to win. Russia for that matter needs to make sure that they give it their best and give it their all.
The games have just begun and so there is still a lot that can be expected from them. All the participating teams get ready to face each other and take home as many medals as they can. As the Sochi Olympics head underway, everyone is left wondering whether Russia will have home court advantage or will the visiting countries take home the prize. So let the games begin, let the battle commence!
By Hammad Ali