Recapping the opening days of the Olympics
By Jerrison Oracion, Contributor
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games had a multitude of side stories leading up to them. So far, though, there have been no major events that have interrupted the games. Despite the rumblings of protests involving the propaganda laws in the host country, Russia, and various terrorist groups warning the public that they will plant bombs in Sochi during the games, everything has been mostly smooth sailing.
The games began two days before the opening ceremony with two of 12 new sports in the winter games: team figure skating and men’s snowboard slopestyle. The next day, the almost three-hour opening ceremony was shown to billions tuning in around the world. In the opening ceremony, viewers learned a bit about Russian culture and history, including important works such as Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and the famous ballet Swan Lake. The first half of the ceremony was like a history lesson, while the second half took on a nostalgic look—especially during the part focussing on the Russian Revolution. Also of note during the ceremony for Canadians was when, during the Parade of Nations, hockey hero Hayley Wickenheiser was recognized for her great contributions to the game when she held the flag and led the Canadian athletes into Fisht Stadium.
As of this writing, Canada’s performance in the first week of the games has been great. Team Canada has picked up 13 medals—including four gold medals, five silver medals, and four bronze medals—in the first few days. Highlights have included: the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, Justine and Chloe, grabbing a gold and silver medal respectively in women’s skiing moguls; Alex Bilodeau nabbing another gold medal in men’s skiing moguls; Charles Hamlin with a gold medal in short track speed skating at the 1500-metre distance; and Dara Howell finding her way to a gold in women’s skiing slopestyle.
The games haven’t been without some drama, though. There have been some injuries along the way. Russian figure skater, Evgeni Plushenko, withdrew and retired because of an injured back. Various athletes have also taken some tumbles during the new events, such as Vancouver’s Yuki Tsubota reportedly fracturing her jaw during the women’s skiing slopestyle.
It’s been a relatively good start to the Sochi 2014 games, and with hockey just getting going, things are only going to get more exciting.