The Sochi 2014 Winter Games came under criticism even before the opening ceremonies. There have been complaints about the conditions of the ski slopes, complaints about extensive surveillance (spying?), complaints about accommodations. Journalists who were on hand days in advance were finding little to praise. As a matter of a fact, one of the hotels built to house journalists was not even ready. CNN reports this from the Olympic Committee: “Dear Media,” the committee wrote, “this is to inform you that the official opening of the hotel Gorki Grand has been postponed due to technical reasons.” What is the technical reason? They said it was the water. There have been complaints about that from elsewhere anyway.
The Russian Federation did a lot to prepare for the games and provide security, but they did not finish on time. Certainly it is hard to build a an Olympic Village (town, actually) in just a few years (OK, it was seven), especially considering the vast resources required. London did it, however, for the last Olympics. It will forever be the best one for me. That might be because it is probably the only one I will ever attend. It was amazing. Here are our thoughts written when we returned.
London 2012 photo gallery
London was indeed ready for the 2012 summer games. From sports venues to crowd control, everything was in order for the mass of humanity that arrived in London from all over the world. This is not to say that we did not encounter some delays getting from venue to venue, but it all seemed to move along smoothly. To have 70,000 volunteers on hand to greet us seemed an impossible task, but they did it. Every where we went, the Brits greeted us with a smile and told us they were glad we came. The volunteers were not just at the Olympic sites but at the train stations and intersections, landmarks and parks and just about anywhere a tourist might need a hand. It was worth almost a year of vacation planning for us and we only wish we could have stayed a little while longer. We are pleased to share just a few of the many pictures we brought home.
The closing ceremonies will give you a heavy dose of Beatles music, of course. Appropriately, in my opinion, a small group of volunteers, representing the tens of thousands were presented flowers by medal winning athletes. The finale rocks, literally.
LINK: Official London 2012 closing ceremony photo gallery as well as links to all galleries can be found on the London site.