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Will the Sochi Olympics Be Successful?

Getty – Mike Ehrmann

Since the journalists have been arriving at the site of the Sochi Winter Olympics we’ve been seeing tweets of ramshackle hotel rooms and unprepared facilities. Before that, ethical concerns were raised about handing the Olympics over to a country and regime where corruption is a possibility.

Security, concerns over the way the country treats gay people, and just plain old preparedness have been the topics of discussion. As we all wait to see what happens with the Winter Olympics, I think many people are watching to see if the games will be interrupted by something rather than the medal count.

Sport Illustrated commentator and writer Frank Deford trashed the International Olympic Committee and Vladimir Putin, comparing them to prescription drug commercials that dedicate the first fifteen seconds of the spot to the benefits and the final forty five seconds to all the things that can go wrong if you take them. Listen to his rant here.

Shaun White, possibly the biggest name at the Olympics, has pulled out of the slopestyle competition to focus on his bid for a third gold in the halfpipe. He cited course conditions as his reason for pulling out and leaving the U.S. slopestyle crew one man short, at three instead of four competing.

Here is the release he submitted to the Today show after a 45 minute news conference that was all about the slopestyle event.

“After much deliberation with my team, I have made the decision to focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA. The difficult decision to forego slopestyle is not one I take lightly as I know how much effort everyone has put into holding the slopestyle event for the first time in Olympic history, a history I had planned on being a part of. However, with the practice runs I have taken, even after course modifications and watching fellow athletes get hurt, the potential risk of injury is a bit too much for me to gamble my other Olympic goals on.”

I’m sure these Olympics will be just fine. The competitors know what they need to do to prepare themselves. The people preparing the courses, the ice, the targets and all the things that they need to create the competitions can do it pretty much anywhere on the planet. As they are ready, the television coverage will show us what we are used to with the Winter Olympics; high flying action, grace, and the most amazing athletes pulling off the most amazing feats that happen in freezing temperatures.

 

 

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