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Waiting for Sochi

Jan 14, 2014 11:45 am | Janice Huser

The 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are just around the corner, and with yesterdayís announcement that an athlete training out of Edmonton made the cut to compete, it seems as though people are finally starting to get at least a bit excited.

I feel like over the past few months I havenít seen too many stories about Canadian athletes, and most Olympic-related stories that appear while scanning through news stories online are about suicide bombings in Russia, suspected militants being arrested, and yet another story about stepping up security for the upcoming Olympics.

I find it hard to get excited about the Olympics when Iím being bombarded with stories about bodies being found in cars and terror suspects as I search for stories on Google News, and personally, I kind of love watching the Olympics on TV when I can.

It is exciting, itís fun, and itís amazing to watch the world come together for a common goal. Although the events are obviously competitive, they still bring people together, they prove what the human race is capable of, in a good way.

But, with so many controversies surrounding these Olympics, such as the ongoing debate regarding the countryís stance on homosexuality, and stories about how construction in Russia specifically being done for the Olympics has destroyed peopleís homes, make me sink in my seat a little, rather than jump up and down with excitement.

Itís also been reported that the 2014 Olympics will be the most expensive Olympics yet, with costs being pegged at around $50 billion (U.S.). Does a country like Russia have the funds to support the Olympics, and if so, should those funds not be directed in other ways? Will the facilities being built actually bring something useful to the country, or will they crumble and fall in years to come.

Of course, Iíve never been to Russia, and I can only base my judgements and feelings on what I read in the news. Hopefully those judgements can be swayed once the opening ceremonies take place on Feb. 7, and in the following weeks while competitions take place.

If Canada competes well, and we have something to celebrate as a country, then maybe the excitement will return. But if the fears of security being threatened and people being injured are realized, then Iím sure the world will slump in their seats with me.

Iím hopeful that good will come out of the Olympics, of course for my own country in the form of national pride, but mostly I hope that in some way, these Olympic games prove beneficial to Russia and its people. I donít have enough hours in my day to examine if this will be the case or not, so I will wait with the rest of the world to see what is in store for Sochi.

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