The 15 Worst Moments of the 2014 Winter Olympics
2014 Winter Olympics: 15 Worst Moments
It is certainly sad to see the 2014 Winter Olympics come to an end, especially since it seemed like the Winter Games started just yesterday. There is no question the Winter Olympics in Sochi had its fair share of high and low moments. Even though the games limped out of the gate, I have to say that it was an overall success for the host country. With that being said, there were still plenty of bad moments that occurred over the past two weeks.
Within the first day or two, many Olympians and media personnel took to social media to show the world the condition that Sochi was in. Rubble took up space in some hotel lobbies, while other hotels didn’t even have a lobby. In fact, guests were required to visit the hotel manager’s room in order to check in. There was zero privacy in bathrooms and flushing was rarely an option. And if the guests were lucky enough to have a functioning toilet, they were required to throw all toilet paper in the wastebasket instead of flushing it down the toilet.
Athletes could have lived with the living conditions being less than sufficient. However, what they would not stand for was the less than stellar conditions of the hills and halfpipe. Many said it was like landing on concrete. Some athletes even went as far as to say it was the worst they had ever seen, especially considering it was the Olympics.
Overall, there was plenty to gripe about the 2014 Winter Games. That’s why you need to check out the ensuing slideshow to see the 15 worst moments of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
15. Bob Costas’ Eye
NBC sportscaster Bob Costas suffered an eye infection in the early goings of the Winter Games. It was an unfortunate side story that drew attention away from the Olympics. It really wasn’t a worst moment for the fans, besides the fact that we had to watch Costas in clear discomfort. It was more of a worst moment for Costas himself.
14. Bode Miller Interview
After Bode Miller won bronze in the men’s super-G skiing event, NBC reporter Christin Cooper decided it was a good idea to ask him questions about his brother. For those who are unaware, Miller’s brother passed away last year at the young age of 29 years old from a motorcycle accident. Naturally, the context of the questions was emotional for Miller, which led to him crying. Members of the press and people on social media had a field day, which resulted in Cooper getting crushed from every angle. In my opinion, it wasn’t that big of a deal that Cooper asked the questions. However, it still wasn’t a great moment during the Olympics.
13. Empty Stands
Too many times the stands were completely empty for qualifying events. I mean, this is the Olympics! The stands should have been packed to the brim to witness the greatest athletes in the world compete on the grandest stage.
12. Fifth Ring Doesn’t Open
The opening ceremony was a sight to behold as it was quite obvious where a lot of the $52 billion was spent. The one downside was when the five snowflakes opened up into five Olympic rings. It was certainly a creative idea. Unfortunately, the fifth snowflake never opened, which made it look like an asterisk next to the Olympic rings.
11. Safety Issues
There were scary crashes and significant injuries that occurred almost every day at the Olympics. I understand that injuries go with the territory when it comes to extreme sports. However, many athletes stated that the conditions of the hills, halfpipe and other events didn’t meet the typical Olympic standards.
10. Yevgeny Plushenko Pulls Out Due to Injury
Russian figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko pulled out of the competition after he strained his hamstring in warmups. There’s no question the move disappointed the home fans as many looked forward to Plushenko’s final Olympic performance. The hope was that he would be able to go out on top. Unfortunately, his stellar career ended with a dud instead.
9. Concrete Dust
Many athletes complained about something in the air that was causing an allergic reaction. Those same Olympians believed that it was a fine concrete dust, which was enough of a distraction to throw many off their game. In fact, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway elected to not compete in the giant slalom event for that very reason.
8. Yulia Lipnitskaya’s Room Bugged
The pressure got to Yulia Lipnitskaya, who is the 15-year-old Russian figure skater prodigy that wowed in the team event. Her stellar performance in the short and free program is what allowed Russia to win the gold medal. Unfortunately, she couldn’t repeat her success in the individual event, which led to her demise.
The disturbing part about it is that listening devices were found in Lipnitskaya’s dressing room, which was presumably planted by the Russian media. On top of that, her family was allegedly stalked and she couldn’t get any privacy to practice. It’s easy to say that the pressure got to her, but it didn’t help that the media monitored her every movement.
7. Figure Skating Judges
South Korea’s Yuna Kim was a lock for gold in the women’s figure skating competition. Unfortunately, the judges decided that Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova put forth the better effort and gave her the win instead. Social media exploded with the controversial decision. I’m not saying a fix was in, but it certainly doesn’t help the cause of the judges when one of them was previously suspended for trying to fix an event at the Winter Olympics in 1998. A petition was created at change.org to investigate the judges, who made plenty of controversial decisions.
6. Shaun White Pulls Out of Slopestyle, Doesn’t Medal in Halfpipe
American snowboarder Shaun White pulled out of the men’s slopestyle event due to safety reasons and the fact that he wanted to concentrate on the halfpipe. It was a low point for the US because many wanted to see White compete. It didn’t help that White didn’t even medal in the halfpipe competition.
5. US Loses to Canada in Men’s Hockey
There were high hopes that Team USA would be able to avenge their gold medal loss to Canada from the 2010 Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as US looked uninspired and flat-footed on the ice. The energy and the killer instinct simply weren’t there, which allowed Canada to claim the 1-0 victory. Even worse, the United States must now keep performing artist Justin Bieber thanks to a bet that Command Transportation decided to put on a billboard.
4. US Embarrassed by Finland in Men’s Hockey
As if the loss to Canada wasn’t bad enough, Team USA got thoroughly embarrassed by Finland in the bronze medal match. The defeat in the semifinals took all the wind out of the US, which resulted in a 5-0 beating at the hands of Finland. To not medal in men’s hockey was a hard pill to swallow for many diehard hockey fans.
3. US Loses to Canada in Women’s Hockey
It was a sign of bad things to come when Team USA lost to Canada in women’s hockey. The US was up 2-0 with 3:26 left in regulation. Unfortunately, Canada came storming back to stun the US in overtime. It was a hard defeat to witness, especially since the US appeared to be locked in for the gold medal. Taking home silver is still nice but it definitely hurts when gold was well within their grasp.
2. Stray Dogs
One of the more controversial storylines during the Winter Olympics was the killing of hundreds of stray dogs. Several Olympians and dog shelters worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of the defenseless animals. Even though numerous dogs were saved, the fact that so many were put down overshadowed the early days of the Winter Games.
1. Living Conditions
By far, the worst part of the 2014 Winter Olympics was the living conditions that many Olympians and media personnel encountered when they arrived in Sochi. Whether it was the yellow water, the bees found in honey or electrical wires sticking out of the wall in showers, there was plenty for the people back home to talk about.