Wednesday, February 12, 2014

+2 hours from Sochi (Сочи)

Posted by Robyn

Only 2 hours ahead of Sochi, we are getting lots of live coverage of the Winter Olympics. In Russian. and in Kazakh.  (The Russian channel has higher production values. more breaks, and a lot more shots of Vladimir Putin).

For most of the coverage there is a single feed with names and athlete standing in English. so we can follow along without commentary, but you know what? We confess to missing the athlete-profile-centric coverage provided by NBC English-language media.  Although we don't miss the hype and marketing of so many of the Olympic sponsors. Or the endless commercial interruptions.

Kazakhstan has about 50 athletes competing, but just one, the male figure skater Denis Ten, who is a serious contender.

and we hear he's been training in California for the past few years
So the locals don't seem that into it, and to our surprise, we haven't been able to find local coverage of all the events, even some of the more popular events like figure skating. We do feel like we're a little more interested overall than most of our new neighbors. Except for the US v Russia hockey game this coming Saturday evening that is. That will be big. We have a friendly bet with our friends Sasha & Natasha on the outcome. (Want to guess who is betting on which team?)

So when Kazakhs are not competing, it seems like they will root for Russians/other former Soviets over the rest of the world. While we can't yet understand the Russian commentators, local friends tell us they celebrate when Americans fall or fail. Doesn't seem very sportsmanlike, does it?

We did enjoy the opening ceremonies live... high definition picture on our TV, narrated by BBC commentary streamed over the internet with the help a VPN to overcome network geographical restrictions.  Technology!

What are you following in these Winter Olympics? 

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