5 Things Not to Miss at The Sochi Olympics

With the waiting finally over, the 2014 Sochi Olympics are finally underway in the heart of Russia.  Winter sports fans of all stripes are eagerly watching to see if their athletes can carry their nation to Olympic glory, while others scratch their head at the niche sports (like curling) that everybody seems to ignore … until the Games roll around, of course!

No matter your level of fervor, there are storylines that define the feel and compose of these events, and this version of the Winter Games, the 22nd Olympiad held during the winter months, is no different.  As you watch these events over the next two weeks, keep track of the following five stories to watch as they develop…

aerial of the Sochi Olympics

1) Team Russia: can they deliver the goods for their hometown fans?

As with all hosts of the games, the locals always pine for an optimal outcome for their “hometown” athletes at the Olympics.  With Team Canada breaking the record for the most gold won at the Winter Games with 14 in Vancouver back in 2010, what will Russia do? Run the table with the most medals overall?  Dominate the figure skating venues?  Crush their opponents in Men’s Hockey en route to its 8th gold medal?  Only time will tell.

2) Who will rule vice in the uber-competitive sport of Men’s Hockey?

Speaking of hockey, the Men’s variant of the game these days are hard to predict, as the top teams in the tournament tend to be very evenly matched, leading to a variety of results over the years.  Will Crosby and the gang win back-to-back golds for Canada?  Can Ovechkin lead the Russian squad into outscoring their competition enough to win it all? Can Ryan Miller shake off a suboptimal season on his NHL team to stonewall all comers, leading to a deep run for the Americans?

3) With Lindsay Vonn’s absence, who will rule the mountain in the Women’s Downhill?

In the days leading up to the Sochi games, it appeared that Lindsay Vonn would be able to strap on her racing skis for the USA in search of another finish atop the podium.  Alas, it will not happen this year, as she re-injured her knee in a training run in November. Top contenders for that crown now include Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany and Lara Gut of Switzerland.

4) Who will scoop up the medals in eight new events set to debut at Sochi?

Many Olympics garner attention for the new events that attain medal-granting status at their games, and Sochi is no exception. This year, snowboarding gains slopestyle and parallel slalom competitions, while skiing is also having a slopestyle event added this year, as well as joining boarders in the halfpipe.  After campaigning passionately for years, the women will finally be permitted to win medals in the ski-jumping competition, after 90 years of being shut out.  Other events that will grant medals for the first time include team figure skating, team luge, and a mixed biathlon relay race.

5) Can our Russian hosts overcome the multitude of controversies that have befallen them?

As far as recent Olympics go, it has certainly been one of the more controversial games in that time.  From corruption surrounding the bidding process, to shoddy construction of certain facilities, to the openly homophobic anti-gay laws passed in the country prior to the event, many people have sworn to boycott these games, or protest them in one manner or another. Even the weather has come under sharp focus, as snow had to be saved from the previous winter for this year’s event. Whether the hosts can smooth over the harsh reality of these debacles will be the true test of Sochi’s hospitality skills.

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2 Responses to 5 Things Not to Miss at The Sochi Olympics

  1. […] the Winter Olympics 2014 still in full force, I just found this cool infographic that Crystal Ski had made showcasing Great […]

  2. […] this summer to compete for the World Cup, arguably the most popular sporting spectacle next to the Olympics. Yet only one side can reign supreme and only a handful of players will set the imagination of fans […]

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