Sochi 2014 Olympics

sochi

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The Sochi 2014 Olympics completely snuck up on me and now they are all over the news. We are not a sports crazy family, but we enjoy watching the Olympics. I have some heartstrings tied to Russia because I lived there for several months, many years ago (before marriage and children). Russia will always have a special place in my heart.

Opening Ceremonies

Depending on where you live, you may be able to watching the opening ceremonies here:

Sochi 2014 Olympics – Opening Ceremonies

Hiccups to the Games

Some of the things people are complaining about don’t seem that unusual to me (because I lived there, not in Sochi, but in St. Petersburg) and they bring back fond (often humorous memories) and prompt discussions with Jonah and the kids.

Toilets

There were a few complaints about people having to share a toilet room with 2 toilets, which is certainly something we are not used to in Canada (or the USA). When I was there, some of the public bathrooms only had holes in the ground and no toilets. Other bathrooms had scary toilets and no seats. Even if a bathroom had a toilet and a seat, I was warned never to sit directly on the seat because of disease.

Water

When I lived in St. Petersburg, I was warned that I should not drink the water without boiling it first. It always looked yellow. Hot water was another curious thing while I was there. Hot water was centrally heated and turned on and off at will (and you never really felt clean after a hot shower or bath).

Road Safety

When I lived in Russia, the roads were riddled with potholes you had to swerve around, and the military stood in almost every intersection. If the lights turned red while you were travelling through the intersection you had to stop where you were and the other cars would drive around you. (Let me just say, I was always a passenger and never a driver).

Internet Safety

Personally, I would not assume that my data was safe if I went to Russia. When I was in Russia, I had to order my long distance phone call 3 days in advance and an operator listened to my calls.

Venue Safety

There have been some questions regarding the safety of the Venues in Sochi. I am praying that there are no serious injuries or deaths due to unsafe venues. If the the hotel construction and other issues that are occurring are any indication, then hopefully my fears won’t be justified.

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