The excitement of Opening Ceremonies is just hours away.
Check out www.wsj.com/sports and type “opening ceremony bingo” into the search box. You’ll see a list of All Things Russian – 25 iconic images. You can even play Bingo with the images.
Every four years, I tell myself to ignore the media hype, the done-too-often Up Close and Personal sagas of athletes’ struggles to reach their dreams, the almost frantic attempts to heighten the drama. I much prefer to let the competitions reign – pure and simple athlete vs. athlete.
There has been a lot of talk about the lack of readiness at this late date – hotels with inadequate facilities, difficulties with transporting spectators, Sochi not being quite up to “the standards” of other host cities.
Mitt Romney, who presided over the Salt Lake City Winter Games, said it best in an interview last night. To paraphrase: “the games – and the focus of the preparations – should be about the athletes, their safety, their comfort and their competition. Spectators and tourists must remember they are visiting another country; one which might not be able to accommodate them with the same quality found in their own country. In addition, Sochi is in a remote part of Russia and was not a hub that was modernized even before it became an Olympic site.”
Of course that begs the question why Sochi was selected; that’s for others to answer. Nevertheless, Mr. Romney is right. As long as Sochi takes good care of the athletes and their competitions, they have prepared well.
Let the Games begin!