Olympic Names In The News: Costas Praises SOCOG For Doing "Good Job" With Games
NBC's BOB COSTAS said SOCOG organizers did a "good job" with the set-up of the Games. Costas: "These are VLADIMIR PUTIN's Games, make no mistake about that. But within that, having said all that, the venues have been terrific. Logistically, things have run well. The Athletes Village, people rave about. All the athletes say they've had a good time, the visitors say they've had a good time. So I'd say in that respect, it's been a success" ("Today," NBC, 2/21). However, in N.Y., Filip Bondy notes he has covered 13 Olympics and that Sochi come in at No. 12, behind only the '96 Atlanta Games. Bondy notes Sochi's "bad food, bad accommodations [and] sterile Olympic Park" as marks against the Games and praises its "efficient transport system" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/21).
TAKING THE HIGH ROAD: Several members of the Silver Medal-winning U.S. women's hockey team appeared on NBC's "Today" Friday and discussed their dramatic loss to Canada. U.S. F JULIE CHU said the rivalry between the U.S. and Canada has "fostered a great women's hockey environment that's allowed us to grow the sport." Chu: "Yesterday, there are so many people that became women hockey fans because of it and it's because it's intense, it’s passionate, it's fast and definitely one where when people watch they'll get enamored by how everyone on the ice where's their hearts on their sleeves" ("Today," NBC, 2/21).
SLIDE AWAY: In Baltimore, Mike Klingaman profiled U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation BOD member TED OFFIT and notes during the Sochi Games, he has been the "middle-aged man with a Team USA jacket on his back and a cowbell in hand that he clangs wildly at the start of every bobsled race." Offit serves as legal counsel and fund raiser for the NGB, which stands to be his "legacy when he completes his eight-year term" in '15. He also has been a "steady touchstone who keeps board members on task during meetings." Offit was "the only one without a past in either" bobsled or skeleton when he joined the board in '07 (Baltimore SUN, 2/21).
CITIZENSHIP SHUFFLE: In Boston, Shira Springer notes Estonian skier WARREN CUMMINGS SMITH III is actually "a Boston-area athlete representing a 'foreign' country" at the Games. Similarly, skier JULIA MARINO of Winchester, Mass., "competed as Paraguay’s first Winter Olympian." She was "born in the small Paraguayan village of Bahia Negra, adopted by an American couple, and raised in suburban Boston." Smith and others who "find Olympic opportunities with dual citizenship see the Sochi Games as a way to gain valuable competitive experience." There also are "many other athletes from non-Alpine nations who see a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/21).