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WO 2014, Sochi. Day 1

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Feb 7th, 2014, 05:41 AM
  #1
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WO 2014, Sochi. Day 1

Cheers from the capital of Winter Olympics 2014! My first day here is running. Got internet (read: got all that is needed). Had just filling free lunch in press-center and right now preparing myself for the evening ceremony. On whole, since our plane landed in Adler airport I'm receiving here positive impressions only. No bears and wild wolves here. Russians are affable and honestly speaking I even already got tired of their constant anxiety. The Olympic spirit definitely is in the air, I can feel it. If some of you still raise any concern on safety, believe... too much of security here. Video surveillance and police patrols are everywhere, as if I've stepped on the board of some Russian secret submarine. Looks like the only place I'm to hide myself from all those security measures is a toilet in my hotel room. Going even as far as to say that they hardly had something of alike in London two years ago. Russian put security at top of their Olympics. For examples to get in evening at ceremony, paving "press" right of access, I'm to pass at least 5 police and different security cordons! Later will add here the picture I made from my room in hotel @Swissotel Kamelia. Russian antiaircraft gun from here looks rather impressive.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 06:01 AM
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"The Olympic spirit definitely is in the air"
Interesting: all European TV crews at Sotschi tell us the pure contrary
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Feb 7th, 2014, 06:06 AM
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Hi Bens welcome to Fodors. What country do you come from?
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Feb 7th, 2014, 06:55 AM
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My son is also in Sochi, as part of the Dutch TV contingent. He is perfectly content with everything, except the slow internet. He said his hotel room is at least as good as the one he had for London 2012.
The Daily Mail and it's ilk love to exaggerate the downs and forget about the good, especially when it doesn't involve London.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 09:04 AM
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I think generally western media like to exaggerate and play up the Evil Russian angle and find crisis and turmoil where there isn't any. They always have, Olympics after Olympics. NBC hasn't done it yet, but it's still early.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 09:11 AM
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Agree with Amyb except I think NBC's coverage to date has been unduly negative, especially last night's coverage of the toothpaste bombing threat.

Every Canadian athlete I have seen interviewed has been effusive in their praise of the facilities and personnel associated with the games.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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Maybe Canadian athletes are too polite to say anything negative!
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Feb 7th, 2014, 10:26 AM
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interesting that Ben who says he is media has time to join Fodor's today to report. I would think he would be much too busy covering this world event to post on a travel forum. I find the post weird.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 10:28 AM
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I agree that neither the fact that hundreds of native people have been expropriated without any compensation nor the "commissions" of hundreds of million USD paid to the friends of Putin nor the destruction of a natural reserve (and a lot of similar things) will affect these beautiful games.

And the more than 300 thousand police and secret police men actually in and around Sochi will certainly guarantee peaceful games (Russian human rights activists fled abroad or are in prison anyway).
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Feb 7th, 2014, 10:31 AM
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Could be Jean. Or we are just happy to get out of our country during our winter.

As I recall last night's NBC News lead off with how far volunteers have to travel each day to get to Sochi, security guards aren't being paid at Sochi, and of course the one European intelligence source who is warning against toothpaste bombers targeting two flights from the US per day.

Then they moved on to how thrilled the athletes were to be there.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 10:54 AM
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We're watching the opening ceremony on the BBC right now. They are mixing a straight "isn't this wonderful" style commentary with some political add-ons but the negative stuff has been mainly confined to news broadcasts rather than the sports coverage.

They have informed us that there are reports of someone trying to hi-jack a plane headed for Turkey to make it go to Sochi, presumably with malign intent, but he was overpowered and it landed in Istanbul.

I too wonder why Ben joined fodors now to start this thread and why he's been so coy about his background.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 01:31 PM
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I like Bens's not very good English, still as a journo ... I remember chattering on the web to Zimbabwe security types during the recent election, feels very familiar.

Still I liked the ceremony, great fun and you can see where some of the money went. I thought it was interesting that "Mrs Putin" happened to be chosen to light the torch, now that is power. Can you imagine the conversation, "no you do it", "no I'll do the speech, you light it" "are you sure no one will notice?".

Still at least not a Hollande issue.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 03:57 AM
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yes, the BBC pointed out that her selection to light the torch was "interesting" and not in line with her prowess as an athlete.

They showed a very funny view of previous GB medal winners using lego figures - it's a hoot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__zyDuSGXXk

and Channel 4 has sent an interesting message to Pres Putin:

http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/1...-cabaret-film/

any comments, Bens?

how was it for you?
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