Sochi Games Underway

The Sochi Olympics are kicking off and should be a fine time and hopefully incident-free aside from the misplacing of 30,000 condoms and such.

I myself missed going to the 2012 London Summer Games because I never got an invitation. Apparently Canada already had their gymnastic team in place.

I’ve been to Russia six times, although never to Sochi. I was always in St. Petersburg, with one side trip to Moscow. I’d been fascinated by the country since the days when Father David Bauer’s Canadian National Team had such trouble against the teams they’d ice from there. And when the 1972 Summit Series took place, I was beside myself.

I was there in 1991 with my first wife and two kids, when the Soviet Union was collapsing, and I was there when the new Russia was rebuilding. I’d see the elderly and often wonder how they and their family and friends could live a life where at any time, a knock on the door could mean ten years in a Siberian work camp for usually the most pathetic of reasons, like being seen eating candy that was favoured by some of Stalin’s enemies.

I married my second wife, Luci, in Russia. And the day after the fairly unusual ceremony, I had to return to Canada and never saw her for a full year until she was able to join me.

I spent a winter there, saw hockey games, drank beer, and once was invited to a school to talk about Canada to young Russian students in an English class.

Russia can be difficult, it’s not North America, and although they now have supermarkets and fancy cars and luxury movie theatres, it’s still very different, and your patience can get a serious workout.

I strongly suggest that maybe sometime, instead of going to Mexico or on a Carribean cruise, go to Russia instead. You’d be amazed.

Here’s a little clip of Russian good samaritans.

12 thoughts on “Sochi Games Underway”

  1. Opening Ceremony observations:

    - looked like Putin might have been standing on a block or something…

    -The big flame lit towards the end of the ceromony REALLY resembles the structure of the Big O

    - Canada and Slovakia had nice outfits; the Germans looked like Telletubbies and the Americans put way too much thought into theirs

  2. Danno, that was so great. Both Luci and I watched it.Just too bad that these bigger cat relatives would eat my little cat Teesha in a New York minute.I don’t understand it. They’re family.

  3. Christopher, my thoughts on the 51 billion? 51 billion would go a long way in helping Russia’s poor.

  4. Danno, Luci was there a few times with her mother when she was between 18 and 21. She says it a good resort and escape for Russians, but it’s still a Russian city, even with the water and mountains. Which means it was a very Soviet city for a long time, which wasn’t good.

  5. Marjo, I thought some of the outfits were fairly bland, and some really bright.The Bermuda team wore shorts. The lady bringing in the Iran team wore white pants thing while the rest wore sexy white skirts with a slit. I thought the American team was going to run over the lady in front. All in all, I thought the opening ceremonies were wonderful and heart-wrenching.

  6. My thoughts too, but I was wondering if you’d heard from your step-son.

    But while we’re discussing it, what did you think about the almost $10B spent for the Vancouver games? Did we discuss that at the time? A lot of Canadians thought that money could have been better spent on our poor. I wasn’t one of them, I believe building expensive infrastructure is a good thing. For me the long term benefits to one of Canada’s big cities outweigh the costs even though whenever there’s big and fast growth, money will be wasted.

  7. Christopher, yes, I was a bit confused about the previous comment. I don’t know what Denis thinks about the money spent.All he’s said so far about he Olympics was that it was very interesting to see it getting built on TV as it went along.

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