The 2 best things about the Winter Olympics

Four of five Olympic rings are seen lit up during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics have begun and I’m excited!

They are held in Sochi, Russia this year which has little international recognition except for being the birthplace of Maria Sharapova and holding the Olympics.

Prior to the games there has been a fair share of negative headlines: terrorism concerns, deadly ski/snowboard runs, the vast amount of money spent  ($51bn – more than all the other previous winter games put together) and the conditions of the Sochi facilities:

Sochi curtains

Out of everyone it seems like journalists are having a bit of a rough time at the games with many taking to Twitter to complain about their unfinished hotels. In fact, some presenters provided a very informative No Access Tour to the games:

But despite some complaints here and there, the Winter Olympics are great and I’m sure the Sochi games will go off with only some minor hitches.

Here are my 2 favourite things about the Winter Olympics

1) They allow the colder countries to get some recognition

Here is medal table for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, compared to medal table of the 2012 London Summer Olympics – just looking at the top 10 countries:

Olympic medals comparison

The overlap between these two medal tables is minimal with only USA, Germany, China and South Korea appearing in both. And when you look at the countries who appear only in the Winter Olympics medal table, they’re pretty cold: Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and the Netherlands.

I mean, I do have a slight bias being from Canada, but it’s nice to recognised that we aren’t good at swimming because all our lakes freeze and we can’t run because the ground is covered in snow. We would destroy anyone in a snow shoe run though!

2) They show us something super human

Most of us can run, most of us can swim, most of us can do rhythmic gymnastics – we just do them so much worse than those at the Olympics (although some gymnastics are flipping mental!).

But I could not even dream of launching off the ski jumping platform, I would almost certainly die. Give me a pair of skis or a snowboard and tell me to get down the mountain – I would prefer to take them off and scooch on my bum all the way down.

I certainly wouldn’t consider doing this:

Sochi snow boarding

Or this:

Sochi downhill skiiing

Or this:

Sochi figure skating

Or jumping 246m on a pair of wooden planks:

Sochi ski jump

A lot of what they do makes me go WHAT?! At least I can run 100m in under 30 seconds…

All in all, I’m glad that the games exist. And even when the opening ceremony doesn’t quite work out, we can have a good laugh.

We can also make a t-shirt…

Sochi tshirt