2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi

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The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia concluded on February 23rd, culminating in three weeks of international competition. The games were record setting in more ways than one: not only did an unprecedented 88 nations compete, but they also carried the highest price tag of any winter games to date – over $51 billion in total.

Though the Winter Olympics also occur every 4 years, they differ from their summertime counterpart in a number of ways. Most evident is that all of the events are associated with the season – namely snow and ice sports – and there are fewer events in total. Moreover, the winter games are historically dominated by northern countries; this may be attributed to the fact that these nations have access to snow much of the year, creating the culture, weather, and infrastructure to practice winter sports year-round. One needs only to look at this year’s Olympic medal count this year to note this trend.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia

Though these nations have a natural advantage because of climate, thousands of athletes from around the globe proudly represented their countries. Every populated continent participated in the 2014 Winter Olympics, which helps demonstrate the overall purpose of the games.

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia

According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) website, the purpose of the Olympics is to “link sport with cultural and education; promote the practice of sport and the joy found in effort;” and to help “build a better world through sport practiced in a spirit of peace, excellence, friendship and respect” (Olympic.org). The Olympics bring both nations and peoples together, allowing them to compete on the international stage. Indeed, the famous five rings of the Olympics represent the five different regions of the world: the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia/Oceania. These rings are linked, inseparable, much like the goal of the Olympics themselves – to build a better and more connected world.

Photo courtesy of Olympic.org


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