22nd Winter Olympic Games: Sochi 2014
2014 is a year packed with huge number of major international sporting events. The first of those to kick off is the 22nd edition of the Winter Olympic Games, Sochi 2014. Featuring 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines, the games is currently held at Sochi, Russia from 7 to 23 February 2014. This games is also said to be the largest in the history of Winter Olympic Games, and is the second Olympic Games in Russia after the Summer Olympic Games at Moscow in 1980. Previously on July 2007, Sochi defeated Pyeongchang of South Korea by only 4 votes to win the bid to host the games.
(Image source: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/print/2010/3/sochi_2014.jpg)
The games had its spectacular opening ceremony held on Fisht Olympic Stadium few days ago and it is officially opened by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. This is also the first ceremony under IOC presidency of Thomas Bach (previously is Jacques Rogge). The ceremony is attended by over 40 000 audiences and involved over 2000 performers. Despite having technical glitch in some areas (especially the Olympic Ring fails), the opening ceremony is still considered to be dazzling and successful. Some of the dignitaries whom attended the ceremony including China’s President, Xi Jinping and Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.
About 2500 to 3000 athletes from 88 nations across the world will be competing in the games that will take a little more than two weeks. This edition of the games carries the motto ‘Hot. Cool. Yours.’ While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games as the most expensive Olympics in history. Along with several other issues, the games had sparked controversies and protests.
Nevertheless, this games has certainly put Sochi, a formerly unknown small Russian city into the world map. The games will conclude with the closing ceremony on 23rd February 2014. As for its opening ceremony that was over few days ago, I didn’t watch the whole ceremony but I was fascinated by the impressive fireworks display over the main stadium and also at the Olympic Park.
Where is Malaysia? Oh. Malaysia didn’t participate on this Winter Olympic Games. Since we are living in a country of hot and humid climate with no experience on winter sports, it is usual we are absent in the games. But wait, Thailand is participating? Why not Malaysia? No talent most probably. We are getting back to focus on badminton solely.