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9 Things We Won’t Miss About the 2014 Winter Olympics

by: Esteban On  Tuesday, February 25, 2014

things we won't miss about the sochi 2014 winter olympics

Normally when the Olympics are over I get a little sad because I’m going to miss watching sports 12 hours a day. However, that’s not the case with the 2014 Winter Olympics. I still enjoyed them, because, all-in-all, they were decent. But there was just something missing this year. Sochi just didn’t have the same magic as Vancouver in 2010, London in 2012, or even Beijing in 2008.

Of course, I realize that simply saying the Sochi Winter Games “lacked magic” is not a very good explanation for my lack of post-Olympic tristesse. So today, just for you, internet, I’ve put together this list of what I’m not going to miss about the 2014 Winter Olympics. Take a look, and by all means weigh in and tell us what you think. (Or, more specifically, what a idiot I am).

 

9. Sochi

9 sochiproblems hotel failn - things we won't miss about sochi 2014 winter olympics

From everything I’ve heard, Sochi is a lovely place. The problem? It’s a subtropical beach resort town, which made for some not-surprisingly un-wintery weather.

Also, the Olympics weren’t actually held in Sochi. Sochi has a permanent population of 300,000 and, presumably, a number of fully functional hotels. The Olympics, however, were held in a suburb of Sochi called Adler, and of course in the mountain village of Krasnaya and Polyana. Those places had absolutely nothing to accommodate tens of thousands of visitors, so they had to build everything from scratch. And as you probably know, they kinda sorta cut a few corners here and there.

Did the media blow the whole #sochiproblems thing out of proportion? Absolutely. But then again, what did the organizers think was going to happen when they invited every media organization in the world to Russia, only to put them up in half-built hotels with brown water and a dearth of functioning doorknobs?

 

8. NBC, Costas, and Costas' Pink Eye

8 bob costas pink eye- things we won't miss about sochi 2014 winter olympics

Look, it’s not NBC’s fault that Sochi is nine hours ahead of New York and 12 hours ahead of Los Angeles. So if they were going to have any primetime coverage of the Games, it was had to be previously recorded. And really, that’s a good thing in theory. Who wants to watch 40 lugers go one at a time? Who wants to watch 40 speed skaters go two and time? Not me. Just show me the best bits, thank you.

Here’s the thing, though: NBC’s primetime highlights packages suck. They’re over-edited, they leave out too much good stuff, they’re schmaltzy, and they’re anchored by Bob Costas.

Now, I used to love Costas back when he just called sports. But now he seems to have this really high opinion of his role. He seems to view himself as this kind of mediator and interpreter who helps all us idiots make sense of it all.

“Oh, you want to check out the ski slopestyle? No, silly Americans, that’s stupid. You should watch this. It’s important, and here’s why.”

So no, I won’t miss NBC and Bob Costas…or his nasty case of conjunctivitis.

 

7. Boring Sports

7 boring sports - things we won't miss about sochi 2014 winter olympics

I have the utmost respect for Olympic curlers. What they do is hard and amazing, and they should all be very proud of themselves. Moreover, I hope they all get funding so they can continue to train and compete without having to take out a second mortgage on their house.

That being said, I find curling to be insanely boring to watch on television, and I suspect I’m in the majority here.

Same goes for ice dancing, classical cross-country skiing, and all the other boring Winter Olympic sports. You’re all fantastic, but I’m tired of feigning interest. Sorry.

 

6. Doggy Death Squads

6 sochi stray dogs - things we won't miss about sochi 2014 winter olympics

You know what else I’m not going to miss about the 2014 Winter Olympics? Constantly hearing about all the stray dogs in Sochi and the efforts to exterminate them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the media didn’t look the other way and ignore this horrific situation. I’m glad they brought it to the world’s attention so that activists and people with means could do something about it. I just don’t want to think about it anymore, because there’s nothing I, personally, can do about it, and it’s depressing as hell.

 

5. Terrible Announcers

5 nbc figure skating commentators - things we won't miss about sochi 2014 winter olympics

It’s probably unfair to call NBC’s primetime figure skating commentators (pictured here) terrible. They were not terrible. They just weren’t as good as the commentators for the live morning coverage, a.k.a. the Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir show.

Of course, compared to some of the other clowns, NBC’s primetime figure skating crew were like Vin Scully, Jack Buck, and Al Michaels. The Olympics always gives us a huge dosage of awful announcers, because there just aren’t enough good ones to go around. But this year it seems especially bad.

I don’t want to be too specific here, because these commentators are real people who try their best, and I don’t want to be mean. But damn, I heard some pretty sh*tty announcing from NBC and CBC. Women’s hockey and the various snowboarding and freestyle skiing races seems particularly brutal.

 

4. Corrupt Judging

4 russian figure skating judge - things we won't miss about sochi 2014 winter olympics

The girl on the right is Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova, the gold medalist in women’s figure skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics. But who is that woman about to embrace her? Is it her coach? Is it a friend or family member?

No, of course not. That’s one of the motherf#@%ing judges from the motherf@#&ing competition. Her name is Alla Shekhovtsova and she’s married to the head of the Russian Figure Skating Federation.

Let me repeat that again. One of the judges from the figure skating competition is the wife of the guy in charge of Russian figure skating.

I’m sorry, figure skating, but you’re all fired from the Olympics. Get the hell out.

 

3. Smug Dutch Speed Skating Coaches

Did you hear about this guy? His name is Jillert Anema, and he’s one of the Netherlands speed skating coaches. The Dutch were historically good at speed skating this year, winning 23 medals. So some folks over at CNBC decided to have him on their show to talk about why they were so successful, and why the Americans got shut out.

What did Jillert do, though? This asshat took the opportunity to tell America to go f*ck itself.

 

2. Knowing the Results Before You Saw It on TV

2 olympics apps - things we won't miss about sochi 2014 winter olympics

Technology is an amazing thing. Computers, the internet, and social media have connected the globe in a way that was unimaginable to most people just thirty years ago. And really, this is a good thing…except during the Olympics.

In the olden days this wasn’t a problem. The only way people learned the outcomes of sporting events was TV, radio, and newspapers, and those were all easy to avoid until you plopped yourself down in front of the tube for some primetime coverage.

These days it’s impossible to avoid hearing about results unless you cut yourself off from the internet completely. And that is really hard to do, whether it’s because your job requires you to use the internet, or because you simply forget out of habit.

So bring on the 2018 Summer Olympics in Rio. At least that’s in our hemisphere.

 

1. Ignoring How Terrible Putin Is

1 putin - things we won't miss about sochi 2014 winter olympics

Before the Olympics in Sochi, everyone was up-in-arms about Russia. The country is basically run by a dictator who bends the rules and rigs elections to stay in power (look it up), and they have a pretty terrible record on human rights.

Then the Games started, and all of a sudden Vlademir Putin—the ex-KGB guy who never smiles and would totally force-choke people to death if he could—is schmoozing with the American and Canadian Olympic committees.

Um, what? This is the guy who spent $50 billion dollars on the Olympics when his country’s per capita income is $14,000. That’s messed up. So I for one am ready to stop sugar-coating this guy.

 




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