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Sir Rols

Your Sochi Verdict

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The most telling for me is that I am usually really said (sad :( ?) when an Olympics end, these have only made me excited for Korea.

Yeah, I have to admit for the past three or so days I've been largely over it and waiting for them to end. Probably overdosed on too much games sugar. And done with watching four heats of several dozen athletes slide down mountains in one after the other in order on various contraptions to last me for a long time. Happy enough to get back out of the bubble to reality. I've got an INXS teledrama/mini-series and lots of other shows to catch up on now. And I lost my summer tan - must get back out in the sunshine. And, I'm of course more a summer fan, not so much excited for PC as for beautiful sultry Rio.

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Yeah, I have to admit for the past three or so days I've been largely over it and waiting for them to end.

Same here. Same here. The last time I watched a full day of coverage was the day before the Women's Hockey Gold Medal game. After that, meh.

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I don't hand out marks or declare favorites. I will just say that these have been just as good as any previous Winter Games and there will be a plethora of memories for me to draw on.

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so happy russian people and even mr. putin lived and shared their dreams.

thanks 50 billion times!

as for legacy......it's f-ing amazing. did YOU know sochi before?

increadible new alpine resorts, a sport park with world class plans in place.

they did it big, they delivered it all, safely.

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Ceremonies: Great ceremonies. Closing ceremony was definitely a 9.5/10 for me. the .5 taken off was just for the handover segment but otherwise it was perfect. Loved the sense of humour with the Russians mentioning the ring that didn't open. Opening Ceremony was great as well.

Look: Very much liked the look of the games, loved the little Russian touches that were thrown in. The sassy looking babushka/matryoshka doll on the Slopestyle course was great.

Operations: Can't complain about anything during the games, ran smoothly.

Sports: Great, loved the additions of the new sports but that is more a credit to the IOC. Like Rols I would have loved gold for Australia but a pretty good games and seems like nations really improved their medal tally such as Slovenia and Belarus!

Venues: Very much liked the venues, i'm not an architecture expert ;) but the cluster was pretty cool and compact.

Crowds/Atmosphere: Didn't see a lot of empty crowds but I probably didn't pay too much attention to it. The atmosphere looked great on all the events that were in the mountains such as the freestyle skiing, snowboarding etc. The Russians were very passionate in the events when it looked like they were going to win.

Legacy: Huge budget which i'm sure will be a bitch in the coming years.

Overall and general comments: Fantastic games. I was really concerned but they nailed it. However, I do agree that the games seemed isolated and didn't have the personal feel like say London, Beijing and Sydney. The weather was a bit of a concern but then again everywhere has weather problems and they didn't need to use there stockpiled snow.

GamesBids Moments: Abolustely loved the various Belle Brockhoff and dad stories from Krow. The vengeance from her towards Chumpy and the Canadians. Maltais better keep an eye out!

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I would say my biggest plus is that the athletes and officials are really happy with their experiences in Sochi. No major problems or incidents, everything running smoothly.

The biggest negative is all the empty seats...come on now, there has to be a way to fix it!

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Ceremonies: -A - Both of them were in the running for best WOG ceremony. Personally, I found the closing to be a lightyear more entertaining than the opening. The cauldron was great, but the lighting sucked. Parade was handled very well. Music was incredible throughout. At this point, it's all up to personal taste.

Look: A - Loved the quilt pattern. Loved the application in all its forms. My only complaint would the the individual shades of blue/purple/red, but the execution was flawless.

Spectator Experience: -A - From tv, things looked great, and from my friends in Sochi, reports are that the Russians have been incredible hosts.

Marketing: D+ - The horrible (and deserved) PR in the lead up time killed the ROI sponsors were hoping for. That, coupled with the fact that many sponsor hotels weren't finished, forced several sponsors to cancel or change their hospitality plans. The one good bit of marketing news to come from Sochi is that the IOC doubled the price of TOP membership. I think we were all expecting it, but it's good to finally see it happen. Will be interesting to see who stays and who leaves.

Sport: C+ - Nothing against the athletes, but I just couldn't get into it this year. I think a large part of it was the disappointing Games that were had by most of the US "stars." Another part, I'm sure, was that for the first time since 2006, I'm watching a Games from my couch. My couch is nice and my tv is big, but theres just no way they can compare to the real thing. The new sports were an absolute highlight for me.

That comes to a 2.94 GPA, or a C+ . . . just above average.


That comes to a 2.94 GPA, or a C+ . . . just above average.

My math is way off, andI can't figure out how to edit my post...GPA is a 3.0, a perfect B

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I have never been more underwhelmed by an Olympics, summer or winter. The last time I felt this way was pretty recent: 2008 in Beijing. Every Olympics that I've followed since Barcelona 1992 riveted and inspired me, except for the pomposity of Beijing and Sochi. I guess that when it comes to the Olympics, for me, money can only buy you so much.

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Having said all that, I do have some favorite moments:

  1. The Netherlands annihilating the competition at speed skating; one of the greatest performances by any country in any sport in Olympic history
  2. Dominique Gisin (SUI) and Tina Maze (SLO) sharing gold in the women's downhill
  3. The Ukrainian women's biathlon relay team winning gold (the first Winter Olympic gold for Ukraine in 20 years) while their country is in a major crisis
  4. Any gold medal that Canada won (even though I'm an American born-and-raised)
  5. The Filipino figure skater Michael Christian Martinez placing 19th in the men's event, an achievement for a skater from a country with no real history in winter sports and where world-class athletes of any kind are hard to find (save for Manny Pacquiao); in fact, that was my favorite moment of the figure skating competition, which left such a bad taste in my mouth
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Regarding the empty seats, I can only talk about the events where I went. The general public seats were packed full for all these events. The empty seats were all in the area reserved to IOC/Olympic Family/TOP/sponsors/athletes. The issue is that these are generally the best seats. For instance, right behind the judges in figure skating. And since they are good seats, they are very visible during the broadcast. But you had that in Torino as well, even worse I would say.

Regarding the lack of international visitors, I was expecting Russia to put together a visa waiver program, such as the one the US have for EU citizens and from a few other countries. They chose not to do that, and I think the Russia visa process is a bit intimidating and might have dissuaded a lot of prospective visitors.

Edited by hektor

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Ceremonies: 9/10. These were excellent: stunning, really. SOCOG got this almost perfect. They lose 1 mark for the scheduling of the victory ceremonies: for the late night events, present the medals live--capture the moment.


Look: 8/10. Looked great on TV for the most part and a great contrast in the coastal and mountain clusters.


Operations: 7/10. The reports of incomplete and badly completed hotels make for a poor press and spectator experience. But with 20-30% of seats empty, they weren't fully tested for transport, accommodation etc.


Sports: 9/10. Figure skating judging marred it, especially the ladies free skate--podium should've been Kim, Kostner and Soldnikova. Sports like short track always have controversies--nothing unusual there.


Venues: Looked great and no sense of any major issues. But they should've created the best long track venue while they had the chance.


Crowds/Atmosphere: 4/10. Empty seats at almost everything and crowds not nearly as passionate.


Legacy: 6/10 Sochi is nice enough to make much of what's been built worth the effort (but not the cost). Depending on the security situation.


Overall and general comments: 6/10. Better than I thought, but my expectations were low. Without exception, every Russian official or delegate I encountered in Vancouver was a jerk--or worse. I'm surprised we didn't get stories about volunteer snark.


GamesBids Moments: #3, the larch.



I anticipate Pyeonchang will rival Lillehammer for best Winter Games ever.


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Another thing I want to comment on is the Sochi 2014 Websites and App. They were poor. Difficult to navigate and often not clear or updated. For a games where so much was spent surely someone could have sorted this out. Also their marketing was poor. There was a poor selection of Olympic pins as well.

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I ended up enjoying these Olympics a lot more than I thought I would. Overall, I would rank Sochi ahead of Torino, but not even close to Salt Lake or Vancouver. The ceremonies were fantastic, and the athletic competition had a lot of great moments, even if many of my favorites didn't win or medal. The atmosphere at the events in which Russia did well was as good as at any Olympics I've seen. I was expecting an organizational disaster, but Sochi seemed to have fewer issues than Vancouver did in 2010.

For me, the two biggest drawbacks were the snow conditions and the atmosphere at events in which Russia didn't do well. Obviously the snow conditions are an issue at every Winter Games, but I felt bad for the athletes who lost medal chances (or even worse, got injured) due to the terrible spring snow. The number of DNFs in the alpine events--especially the women's Super G and men's slalom--was more than I've ever seen in any major event. The organizers certainly had no control over the weather, but the snow conditions in Sochi are a good reason not to award the Winter Games to a location with such a warm climate in the future. I'm looking forward to PyeongChang (and hopefully Oslo), where it should be colder and actually feel like a Winter Games.

Many of the crowds seemed interested in only the Russian athletes, so events that had no Russian contenders lacked atmosphere, and the air often seemed to go out of the building when Russian athletes didn't perform well. This was especially true at figure skating, where most non-Russian skaters got only polite applause. Even worse, when Russian skaters were in contention for medals, many people in the crowd actually cheered for the mistakes of other skaters. That's just completely classless. It was sad to see so many empty seats at many of the snowboarding and freestyle skiing events, especially after the fantastic atmosphere in Vancouver for those events.

Even though I enjoyed these Games, I have to say that I don't find the Winter Olympics to be nearly as exciting or compelling as I used to. I just can't get into the new extreme events--especially the ones that are judged but seem to have no clear judging criteria other than +10 points for every American to make for good U.S. TV. The events seem random, many of the athletes don't seem to care that much about the Olympics, and the "made for TV" nature of the events kind of cheapens the importance of the Olympic medals, IMO.

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Theses were a very well run games and great venues, ceremonies and sporting comp I would give theses games a B 4 Star Games but thes games lacked the Olympic spirit and was not open for all, Vancouver Canada 2010 are still the best winter games a 5 star games .

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I've always been a fan on the Summer Olympics more but overall I think Sochi turned out well. The big problem I saw was that 1/2 of virtually every sporting match/venue (in the Coastal Cluster, can't tell about the Mountain Venues) were empty. I liked the look and loved the location. As an engineer this would be a dream to get a blank check and get to build a city from scratch just for the Olympics. (Not cost effective I know, but pretty cool)

I have to say though that after about 3-4 days of action I got fairly bored of most of the sports, as I usually do at the Winter Olympics, so I can't say this is Sochi's fault. It's like watching the same thing over and over again for 2 weeks straight, no spacing out of the sports and disciplines. Overall though, a fun and certainly interesting Olympics. I doubt Russia will get the Olympics again until at least the 2040s, maybe 2050s, so I hope they enjoyed it.

I agree, the winter games' sports are simply too tedious and look too much alike. It seems like there is always someone sliding on a snow or ice track with skis or skates one after another after another... Sure there are dull disciplines in the summer games too, but the variety is much bigger, so there's always something interesting to see.

Even though I enjoyed these Games, I have to say that I don't find the Winter Olympics to be nearly as exciting or compelling as I used to. I just can't get into the new extreme events--especially the ones that are judged but seem to have no clear judging criteria other than +10 points for every American to make for good U.S. TV. The events seem random, many of the athletes don't seem to care that much about the Olympics, and the "made for TV" nature of the events kind of cheapens the importance of the Olympic medals, IMO.

Agree on this one too. Call me conservative or whatever but these modern events mostly leave me completely cold and it seems that the athletes themselves don't care about the Olympic Games that much either. That may apply also to the summer games.

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I agree, the winter games' sports are simply too tedious and look too much alike. It seems like there is always someone sliding on a snow or ice track with skis or skates one after another after another... Sure there are dull disciplines in the summer games too, but the variety is much bigger, so there's always something interesting to see.

thing is, each move on snow is unique due to condition, coarse, terrain, speed, ability, strength, luck.....it's just so fresh and interesting with each run. and it's so beautiful to be out on a mountain in sun or snow everything changing and living. like nature is a bigger part of the story.......that makes one feel more alive and inspired.

I love all alpine sports.

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thing is, each move on snow is unique due to condition, coarse, terrain, speed, ability, strength, luck.....it's just so fresh and interesting with each run. and it's so beautiful to be out on a mountain in sun or snow everything changing and living. like nature is a bigger part of the story.......that makes one feel more alive and inspired.

I love all alpine sports.

Yes, the BBC's Westeros "athletes versus Nature" trail was pretty much spot on.

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Definitely not my favourite look, I know others love it but vancouver and torino and salt lake were all better for me. Don't get me started on Hot Cool Yours ;)

I always love the winter sports, so I really enjoyed all the sporting action. It's odd though that the final weekend feels a bit flat. Surely we can squeeze some of those events that started before the opening ceremony back into the actual days of the games. Something big like slope style or snowboard cross on the final weekend would be nice!

BBC coverage was excellent, it was nice to watch the games from home for a change. But missing a games makes me even more determined to go to Rio!

Overall fine, sometimes excellent, not sure it will ever have a really special place for me though.

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I didn't like the Sochi quilt Look either. Looked too much like bargain wrapping paper. And it looked cheap on those outfits.

But hey, if that's all $51 billion can get you...then God help us all.

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I actually have always prefered the Winter Games but the extreme sports are insufferably lame and the talent pool is ludicrously under developed. None of the competitions seem like competitions but instead - courinations. There's no drama.

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I actually have always prefered the Winter Games but the extreme sports are insufferably lame and the talent pool is ludicrously under developed. None of the competitions seem like competitions but instead - courinations. There's no drama.

No; the snowboard X-country has always been terrific regardless of who wins. It's not always coronations. SHaun White was shut out; Jacobellis flopped again, as usual. And new people took over.

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For whatever it is worth, I had low expectations based on the drumbeat of news reports in the weeks prior to the opening. However, despite what I think was rather smarmy coverage by NBC in the States, I have the sense that the Sochi games were more than successful, they were memorable. The venues were striking and based on the coverage I saw, the Olympic core surrounding the cauldron was spectacular and colorful. It all looked to be quite joyful. And regardless of the fact that my country is in constant dispute with Russia, I believe that Russian history and culture is deep and compelling and they presented their heritage with great style. I am glad the games found their stride and were not destroyed by terrorism.

Three hundred years ago, Peter the Great built his magnificent city and "window to the west" on the Baltic but St. Petersburg's creation cost the lives of 100,000 serfs. Peter's goal was to link Russia to Europe and to modernize. I think the Sochi Olympic Winter Games had a similar goal (without taking 100,000 lives in the process, of course). Evidently, in the 21st Century 51 billion bucks can buy one hell of an event, but despite that cost, Russia deserves a chance to sell itself to the world and a cooperative Russia is better than an isolated and bitter Russia.

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