As the Winter Olympics begin (with some events today and opening ceremonies tomorrow), here’s a few story lines to catch up on and some people to keep an eye out for.
There’s been plenty of drama in Sochi already — some silly, some not so much. In addition to fears of terrorism and the unprecedented security measures they’ve prompted, there’s this:
- Hacking is a sure thing. The State Department is warning visitors to Sochi of rampant hacking to phones, laptops, etc. “Travelers should have no expectation of privacy while in Russia.”
- Will there be snow? Before it hosted the games, Sochi was known as a beach destination. How did it get the snow?
- Give us our Chobani. The U.S. and Russia are staring each other down over thousands of containers of Chobani yogurt destined for the U.S. team but sitting instead in cold storage near Newark Liberty International Airport. According to this report, the Russians claim that the Americans have not submitted the proper paperwork. “The United States says the certification required by the Russians would be impossible to attain.”
Close to 2800 athletes are set to compete over the next two weeks; some we’ll recognize, some we won’t.
They’ll include “the Flying Tomato” Shaun White, who earlier in the year cut his famous red locks for a charity event, competing now only in the halfpipe after a brief dalliance with the slopestyle, a new Olympic snowboarding event (he dropped out of that event just days ago); everybody’s favorite bad boy Bode Miller; and former track and field star Lolo Jones, now competing in bobsledding.
The games will also include, though, an assortment of violinists, bricklayers and underwearmakers and other unknowns– some of whom will hopefully be more famous for their athletic prowess by games-end. Here’s a few to watch out for.
Finally, for all those who remember what it’s like to wrestle full ice hockey gear on a 6-year-old at 5 in the morning and for all the moms, dads, friends, families and communities who helped our athletes achieve their dreams, here’s a tribute. (Yes, it’s a commercial directed at moms, but the sentiment applies across the board.)