It’s Olympics 2014, folks! A time when people worldwide emulate patriotism for their respective countries while also joining together to marvel at the incredible athleticism of the participants. This year’s Winter Olympics have taken on a new theme, however, as people focus more on the shortcomings of Sochi than on the sports themselves.
The International Olympic Committee has had its hands full with problems ranging from weather difficulties to guest accommodations, and no one has let them forget it.
The weather has proven to be a major issue for the outdoor sports. Sochi is located in the southern part of Russia and therefore has a much warmer climate. The temperature on Monday reached 61 degrees Fahrenheit and is expected to continue as such for the duration of the games.
Such temperatures are problematic for skiing and snowboarding because the snow has become too soft and slushy.  The subpar conditions have already led to several critical injuries suffered by athletes from both sports. Consequently, other participants have removed themselves from events out of fear for their safety.
Athletes including American snowboarder Shaun White have made their frustrations well known as the higher temperatures prevent them from practicing before the competitions. As a result, they must adjust to the courses during the events themselves, performing below what they would have if the courses were up to usual Olympic standards.
The International Olympic Committee is downplaying the issue and attempting to remedy the weather conditions by bringing in snow machines and snow saved from last winter. Even with the reserves, time constraints for repairs have led to less than ideal half-pipes and ski courses.
Unfortunately for the athletes, the shortcomings of the Russian government and the Olympic committee have essentially placed the results of the competition beyond their control. The weather problems have placed athletics on the backburner, as the medals are awarded less for ability and more for who is lucky enough to perform before the course becomes useless and dangerous mush.
Athletes are not the only ones disappointed with the conditions. Visitors from around the world have been complaining about Sochi and they’ve taken their virtual torches and pitchforks to social media. A twitter account entitled “SochiProblems” has already gained more than 320,000 followers on Twitter.
While some posts are congratulatory tweets to athletes, most are complaints about the disorganized and at times unsanitary conditions. While many people have found the satirical works amusing, Sochi locals whose home is being mocked and who actually have to continue living in the poor conditions are unimpressed.
Right now it seems as if no one is satisfied with how the games are going. Hopefully the committee will have all of the kinks worked out soon so that both the participants and viewers can focus on the Olympics’ true purpose: the athletics