Olympics may be recalled for mishaps rather than athletics

The 2014 Winter Olympics are upon us and with the world watching, there have been a great many interesting mishaps taking center stage and overshadowing the actual competition. It’s starting to look like the collateral damage the city of Sochi and Russia as a whole is enduring will be what the world will remember.

Here are a handful examples:

It seems like it’s tough to be a skater if you’re not from Russia. A French newspaper reported U.S. and Russia had a deal to give gold in ice dance to Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White in exchange for Russians getting gold in the first-ever team event. Both sides deny the claim.

The disparity in scoring – so far – was best illustrated by U.S. ladies short program competitor Ashley Wagner who went from elated to deflated; and her face told the story well. More and more athletes seemed pleased with their performances while they sit on the bench, looking anxiously for their numbers to flash on the scoreboard. Many shake and drop their heads and tromp away in disgust.

More controversy aroused people’s curiosity when British snowboarder Jenny Jones won the country’s first medal with bronze in slopestyle. The commentators apparently cheered when Jones’s competitors fell, and even commented about themselves saying during the broadcast, “Are we supposed to do that? Probably not.”

As for actual competition, the biggest buzz was Shawn White’s withdrawal from the Olympic slopestyle snowboarding. White said he thought the course was too dangerous, but will still compete in the half pipe. He’s the favorite to win and won gold in 2010 in Vancouver.

American Jamie Anderson won gold in the women’s slopestyle – most likely to the dislike of Great Britain’s commentators – but didn’t cause any drama with her win.

The condition of the city itself has turned into the butt of many jokes. The Winter Olympics in a city where the temperature hardly ever drops below 45 degrees seems barely feasible. Structurally, parts of Sochi were in shambles: Roads were covered in crumbled bricks, manhole covers were missing covers and drinking water in hotels was dark yellow. These things all exploded once they hit social media sites.

The Olympics are supposed to be a time that the world comes together to see who’s the best of the best. And as hard as it is to make the competition the most important part of the next two weeks, that’s what we’re going to try to do.