There has been a lot of coverage lately on the Sochi Olympics. As of yesterday we announced that we will be putting warships on standby in case our people need to be evacuated in a hurry.
Throughout the history of the Olympics tensions between different countries has been high. It usually leads to nothing more than a country boycotting the games and withdrawing its athletes from competition. On the other hand, some of the most memorable moments in the history of the Olympics has been when an athlete from an inferior country proves the world wrong by winning a gold medal.
Some of the most popular moments were in 1936 when Adolf Hitler was using the Olympics to prove the "master race" was the best. The problem with that was a man named Jesse Owens, and four gold medals later, Hitler was eating crow.
In 1948, after World War II, Germany and Japan were not invited to participate because of their roles in the war. The USSR was invited, but boycot the Olympics for 40 years.
Cold War tensions started showing up in 1952, as the USSR made its first Olympics in those 40 years. In 1956, the USSR and Hungary were playing a semifinal game in water polo when a fight broke out and the game had to be called.
In 1972, the games were supposed to represent peace, but instead it left 19 athletes dead during the Munich Massacre. In Moscow in 1980, over 60 nations boycotted the Olympics in protest of the USSR occupying Afghanistan.
Maybe one of the greatest Olympic performances from this country was the 1980 winter Olympics when the US hockey team filled with college kids played the Russians. At the time, we were down on ourselves and questioning where we really stood in the world - the USSR was looked at as powerhouse, not just in the Olympics but politically, as well.
That win, known as Miracle, by that group of kids was arguably the most important win of a sporting event by any team in the history of this country. It renewed faith in ourselves, and it showed the rest of the world that we might look like we are down but, when push comes to shove, we will always be there.
This year's edition of the Olympics is different than years before. Political tensions are very high between several countries, though nobody seems to be boycotting these games in protest. Russia is looking to show the world how far it has come in rebuilding their powerful country, and we are still involved in the longest war in this country's history.
This year's Olympics are seriously lacking big names and, here we are, just 17 days away from the opening ceremony. I don't know if there is anything that can be proven from this year's Olympic games or anything to gain politically from them but, in just over two weeks, let's hope the only thing there is to worry about is winning that gold medal and not getting our people evacuated on warships as soon as possible.