Russia's Olympic Committee boss has walked the plank, shortly after president Dmitry Medvedev suggested that a terrible fate awaited those who refused to resign over the country's dismal Vancouver performance. According to Russia news agencies, Leonid Tyagachyov swiftly submitted a letter of resignation in response to Medvedev's …
>taking games seriously
Russia should be stripped of their medals for not following the OLYMPIC SPIRIT or something.
AC because I'm allergic to polonium.
Say it ain't so!
Evgeny Plushenko lost to an American... I nearly fell off my seat.
A little unfair
The Russian team were very young, this was a throw-away games to give them experience so that they would be at their peak for the 2014 event.
Except the hockey players, who should have done better, but they aren't going to be in Sochi anyway - they all play in the NHL and the team's aren't about to give them 3weeks off to go and play for a bunch of commies.
The NHL takes a 3 week break for the Winter Olympics, as all of the players are in the NHL.
This may change
The participation of the NHL players at the 2014 games is by no means a settled issue - the league and owners are not keen at all, as they only really benefit from it if the games are in North America. The flip side is that the players really want to participate - it'll probably come down to being a bargaining chip during the next CBA process.
After the end of the communist training regime, and the last generations of resulting athletes getting older, who's surprised by this fall? Where is Cuba's volleyball or boxing power now? Have been wanning since the 90s, after the flow of Moscow money ceased since the Ruskies had bigger problems of their own to tackle. Same with most other soviet supported countries. Glaring exception is obviously China, but they are actually a dictatorial capitalist state for any practical purposes anyway.
I wonder how long the Russians will keep making these, specially the black ones...
Next WInter's Game in a War Zone?
I wouldn't want to be the man in charge of the next winter Olympics. Sochi is 400 km from Chechnya.
And you point is?
The world is small and is only getting smaller. A religious nutter can find support anywhere, anytime and strike anytime.
As 7/7 proved London is 400 km from Bradford and 80 km from Luton. This will be something to definitely keep in mind in two years time. The Greek olympics of a few years back should have never happened because they were less than 400 km from Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania.
And so on... In any case, Beslan was a spectacular own goal for the Chechen "Resistance". Any support they had is pretty much gone now. I'd be much more worried that Sochi is less than 300 km from Suhumi.
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They have a winter olympics now?
Isn't the weather in Sochi this time of year rather warm for a Winter olympics? It's a resort on the Black Sea. Looking at the weather during the end of Feb timeframe it was in the 40s/50s. Not conducive for snow. Unless they plan to truck it in from Siberia.
Medvedev's gonna sort it
He's told the weather to snow... or "he'll help it to snow"
Sochi is only a few km away from the mountains
I have not been there for more than 25 years, but IIRC, the mountains there are 1-5km away from the coast all the way from Sochi to the Abhazian border. The distance to the outdoor events is not much more than it was at some other Winter Olympic and candidate Winter Olympic sites.
The snow is not going to be a big problem. It is the amount of infrastructure that will need building which is scary. The ski resorts there have not seen any proper investment for a very long time and they have never been the main ones anyway. The major soviet era ski centers in Russia are a few hundred km east from there and they could have been a good place to go if they had proper lifts and equipment and if you are a suicidal maniac. Some of the slopes there are beyond the clinically insane (just browse Google for pictures).
Is it any surprise?
Gone are the days when Soviet athletes were treated as national heroes and that could be their sole occupation.
And gone too are the days when anabolic steroids could be administered ad lib with a view to increasing performance to the extent that many or most of the female competitors were not only rendered sterile but suffered irreversible sexual changes to such an extent that their gender identity was in some instances questioned even by themselves.
What we're seeing now is the sort of Olympic performance which is produced by a large nation in a state of internal turmoil. The performance is no disgrace -- indeed as a much more honest performance in present circumstances it's creditable.
A little tough
It's a good job we take a more relaxed view here; 1 solitary medal (albeit a gold*) put us third from last place.
Still, we gave it our best shot and came away much the richer from experience. Well done us!
*Despite the fact that the Canadians tried to scupper our victory with a complaint about a bleedin helmet! Not strange at all that if we'd been disqualified they'd have taken the gold....