Floating on a plane to Sochi, by way of Frankfurt and well, since it can’t be that easy, Moscow too. 23 hours of travel began with a delightfully unhelpful woman at check-in. And the soupy stew from the fancy iPad-lined bar near the gate was worse than my awful cooking. And it’s making my stomach turn as we bobble through the air on a decently uncomfortable flight.
And yet I live for this.
I’ve been grinning ever since I caught my breath in the cab to the airport. We left just on time, with sacs full of cameras and microphones, lights and computers. I brought some clothes too, but not many, I needed room for a GoPro.
I’ve been asked about my thoughts on covering an Olympic Winter Games, usually rhetorically. Frankly, I don’t have anything useful to respond with. Other than to mirror the positivity of the inquirer and be thankful for their support. Which I am…appreciative that people care about what I do, and thankful I have this opportunity.
But I won’t pretend the Olympic Games aren’t complicated. Sochi will cost more than all of Apple’s projected revenues this quarter. The host country has drawn the attention of international media, for plenty of non-sport reasons. The host city is always mispronounced. It’s SO-CHEE. (I’m 99% sure). And people wonder: is the place safe?
I think some of these anxieties, whether mentioned above or not, are just part of the Olympic microscope. Every Games has its set. And we fret and fret. But plenty of folk want it to go smoothly. Of course there are different motivations for why.
And maybe a close look at some not so perfect places is a good thing. Perhaps we can be bold enough to think it will help. I just also hope that the reason we’re here shines brightest. To watch athletes perform. And although they have different flags on their backs, for a moment in time we can fixate on the performance. And forget everything else.
Who knows, maybe that idea gets lost in the spectacle. But its possible sport itself will win, and as long as it’s in the running I’ll spend countless hours researching, writing, tweeting, producing, shooting, hosting, editing, whatever -ing it takes to show just a little bit of what happens when sport does, and nothing else.
Photo: CP Images