2014 Olympics provide intrigue and excitement

BY NATE LAWRENCE, STAFF WRITER

As I write this, the Winter Olympics have been going on for a week.
The opening ceremony was both entertaining and terrifying. The traditional Russian music used during the history portion of the ceremony made me feel like I was watching a horror movie.
The U.S. victory over Russia in hockey left me feeling overly patriotic. I chanted “USA, USA” to myself in the otherwise empty TV room in my house.
My favorite event so far has been the biathlon. The biathlon spices up cross-country skiing by adding a .22 long rifle to the mix. Biathlon athletes must ski to multiple outdoor shooting ranges to hit targets before continuing forward. Whenever a shot is missed, the athlete has to ski around the penalty loop. This 150-meter circle is similar to a child being given a time-out. No American athlete has medaled at biathlon in Sochi.
The Olympics have had just as many surprises as there are stray dogs in Sochi. Snowboarder Shaun White did not get a 3-peat in the halfpipe. Regardless of White’s fall, he remains the one of the most celebrated snowboarders in history. With two Olympic gold medals and 13 gold medals in the Winter X Games, he can certainly back up his claims.
As with any major athletic event, the costs are high with Russian President Vladimir Putin has estimated the budget for Sochi at $50 billion.
While talk before the Olympics centered on what Sochi may have lacked, the focus is back on what the city does offer for a far-too-short two weeks — top-level athletic competition.
Regardless of the problems, I have been glued to the Sochi Olympics and will continue to watch. Just remember, we only get one Winter Olympics every four years.