The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are the Games for everyone from ordinary spectators to high-class professional athletes.
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is the pride of Russia and focus of attention for the whole world. Russia and President Putin took a huge gamble on the Olympics, putting at stake not only a whopping amount of money, but the country’s reputations as well.
Despite the flow of negative media coverage prior to the Games and questions about Russia’s ability to host the Games, the country succeeded immensely and has won big on its Olympic gamble. While the Olympics are always about the celebration of peace and friendship, the Sochi Games are truly an event for everyone.
Nations and athletes
The main focus of the Olympic Games is, naturally, the athletes themselves. Everything has been done to make them feel at home and prepare in the best way possible for the sporting events they are participating in. Contrary to the reports in the Western media, a large number of sportsmen have shared with the Russian gambling news that the conditions and facilities in Sochi were beyond their expectations.
A record number of countries have come to Sochi to participate: 88 to be exact, while the previous record for the Winter Games was 82. The Winter Olympic debut has been made by the following nations: Paraguay, Malta, Tonga, Dominica, Timor-Leste, Togo, and even Zimbabwe. Three more countries – Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Algeria – had qualified athletes, but decided not to send them to Sochi.
2014 Sochi saw a total of 98 events being held in fifteen different disciplines. This time around there are 12 new competitions including both genders. Athletes received an opportunity to contest the medals in women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, mixed-team luge, mixed-team figure-skating, half-pipe skiing, ski and snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel slalom.
Even though Sochi is located in a region with subtropical climate, the actual skiing facilities are up in the mountains, ensuring there are perfect conditions for athletes to complete. The state-of-the-art stadiums and sporting venues are not only a feast on the eye, but are also highly convenient for both sportsmen and spectators.
Guests of the Games and spectators
While athletes are competing for glory and gold, guests and spectators are simply enjoying the Games cheering for their favorite teams and sportsmen. Sochi infrastructure, housing, roads and public transport have all been designed to provide guests with the maximum comfort possible.
The stands at the outside venues are a particular success on behalf of the organizers. They accommodate much more people than any of the previous Winter Games and provide everyone with more equal opportunities to witness the events. The indoor stadiums were also designed with spectators in mind, offering quick and easy access to the seats, as well as a huge number of food and drink stands, both stationary and mobile.
Telecommunication and media companies, sponsoring the Games, have stepped up their efforts to cover the Olympics fully and deliver coverage to as many people as possible. The Games can be viewed on TV across the globe, on PCs via special streams, and on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The Opening Ceremony has attracted a lot of attention with over 3 billion people watching the magic live.
Olympic sports betting punters
Where there is sport – there’s sports betting opportunities. This is especially true for the Olympic Games. Although Russian gambling laws are pretty restricted when it comes to gaming, betting on sports is legal in the country. A lot of Russians enjoy wagering a bit on their favorite athletes and teams, however, foreign-based punters are also in with great chances to bet on numerous events and occurrences.
While punters can wager freely at a number of land-based shops across the country, betting at online sportsbooks in Russia is a bit of a hassle. They are officially banned, but some of the Russian-owned ones still manage to find a hole in the law and offer their services to the population.
2014 Olympics in Sochi are the Games for everyone
• Athletes and spectators feel right at home
• Betting on the Olympics under Russian gambling laws generated a lot of income for the state
• LBGT community felt welcome despite initial fears
Naturally, a wide selection of foreign-based online betting sites are covering the Olympic Games with a whopping number of betting lines, special offers, and bonuses. The biggest win of the gambling industry this time around is the amount of wagers made at the mobile sportsbooks. Technological advances help develop this side of the business and now more and more people can enjoy betting on sports whenever they want to and wherever they are.
Another big win for Russia on their huge Olympic bet was the enormous amount of taxes, sports betting operators have generated for the country’s coffers. This has even made the lawmakers rethink their stance on the restrictive gambling regulations and possibly alter them to allow more freedom and more gambling opportunities.
LBGT and the Olympic Games
Russia’s views on LBGT community came under severe scrutiny from the Western media prior to the Games. The recent law banning gay propaganda among children was the corner stone of debate for many journalists and even heads of state. Some even suggested boycotting the Olympics because of the law.
It has turned out that not only Russia is welcoming gay athletes and spectators with open arms, but they even went as far as to make fun of all the “protesting” journalists by inviting t.A.T.u. – a controversial Russian music group – to sing at the Opening Ceremony.
Gay athletes participating in the Games were quick to comment that they’ve experienced no discrimination whatsoever. In fact, they consider the protesters advocating for LBGT rights on the streets of Sochi, to be in the way of the Games and achieving nothing except ruining upbeat mood for everyone. It’s also business as usual at Sochi’s renowned gay club Mayak.
Why the image of Russia has been improved thanks to Sochi?
The diversity of the 2014 Games and Russian warm-heartedness towards everyone has overcame all the negative reports and reviews, scoring much-needed points for President Putin and Russia all-together. It is now certain that Russia’s big gamble on the Olympics has paid off big time.
Sochi legacy will go on for many generations to come, and we’re not only speaking about all the sporting facilities and infrastructure that have been erected in the Black Sea resort. The goal of the 2014 Sochi Games was to show off Russia as a diverse country, ready to take on huge tasks, and accomplish them successfully.
Check out the whole series of feature articles dealing with Russia’s big gamble on the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.