Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sochi 2014: Week 1 Stories

The ugly Sochi 2014 Logo looks a little better this way
The first week of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are in the books, with plenty of story lines of course from the funny to the inspirational.

- Oshie in Sochi! The USA-Russia men's hockey game delivered on every level, and it ended with TJ Oshie giving the US the victory in the Shootout. Oshie was on the bubble before the Olympics, but the US took him to the Olympics because of his success in Shootouts, and it paid off. USA men's hockey will be looking to win their first Gold Medal since Lake Placid 1980, which featured the "Miracle on Ice" victory over the Soviet Union. Oshie 2014 shirts are now being sold online playing off the NBC Sochi logo.

- USA-Canada Women's Hockey. It was a back and forth heated battle, much like the USA-Canada Women's Soccer match from London 2012. Canada ended up on top in this one after trailing to start the 3rd period, scoring 3 goals in that last period. The Women's Hockey tournament as a whole has been much improved over Vancouver 2010, which featured a large number of blowouts. Canada outscored opponents 41-2 in Vancouver, but in Sochi 41 goals were scored by all teams combined, with much closer games.

- Sochi Problems, or #SochiProblems, taking social media by storm. Even though Russia spent $51 Billion on these Olympics, more even than Beijing 2008, various buildings were still being completed up until the start. Everything from yellow water to doors locking, to uncovered manholes to worries about the Russian Government using cameras to spy on people. Controversy has also been rampant, from questions on if they were killing stray dogs, to some of that $51 Billion being pocketed by officials.

- Bob Costas and his pink eye. It started out in his left eye, but by Monday had moved over to his right eye as well, creating the ultimate Sochi Problem. This may have been prevented had he just wore a condom over his left eye like Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes from TLC did in the 90s. Always use protection! Meredith Vieira & Matt Lauer have taken over, though Costas will be back this week.

- Opening Ceremony snowflakes fail. In what quickly became a meme, 5 giant Snowflakes were supposed
to transform into the Olympic Rings. However, one of them failed to "come out"...maybe in protest of Russia's horrendous "Gay Propaganda" law? Suck it, Putin! Russian TV cut to stock footage of all 5 rings open during one of the rehearsals...even though it was instantly shared from the stadium by people all over social media. You can't fool anyone with Live TV nowadays.

- Noelle Pikus-Pace made a fantastic comeback to win Silver in Women's Skeleton. She missed the Torino 2006 games after her leg was broken badly by a Bobsled in October 2005 that failed to brake and ran into her. She then barely missed out on a medal at Vancouver 2010, finishing 4th. She kept her spirits high through it all and won the silver, jumping up into the crowd to meet her friends and family, showing viewers what the Olympic spirit is all about.

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