EIGHINGER: Nothing says Winter Olympics like those Siberian temperatures

Posted: Feb. 11, 2014 11:37 pm Updated: May. 7, 2014 1:15 am

Are you suffering from Winter Olympics overdose yet?

We're less than a week into NBC's wall-to-wall coverage from Sochi and I already feel like I'm an expert on things like slopestyle snowboarding and the amazing biathlon, which somehow manages to combine shooting a rifle with cross-country skiing.

Is it just me, or do these Olympics have a weird sort of feel to them? I think it's mostly because of all the attention paid to items such as unfinished construction in Sochi and the ever-present Russian political issues. That said, there has still been much to find entertainment with during the first few days of the Games, such as:

Russian speedskater Olga Graf, who won an unexpected bronze medal and in her excitement began to unzip her skintight suit, almost to her waist. Olga, however, forgot she was wearing no clothing under that suit. None.

"I totally forgot," Graf told the Associated Press afterward. "We have very good suits and they are very tight. You just want to breathe and you want to take off your suit."

Not to worry, Olga zipped up as soon as she realized her mistake and kept the telecast PG-rated.

NBC correspondent Mary Carillo provided an extremely interesting piece on life in Siberia, where the temperature was 43 below zero on the day she was there. She found that was rather balmy when compared to the 58 below or so the local populace is accustomed to.

Kind of like living in Quincy this winter, eh?

Carillo confessed to NBC Olympics host Bob Costas that she was cold the entire time she was in Siberia. Considering that Carillo is a native of Naples, Fla., that would be understandable.

Who says the Cold War (no pun intended, honest) is over? Russian officials continue their denial over the problems that have plagued the Games and have even gone as far as to blame Western media for all the "alleged" glitches.

Yep, it's all of those darned reporters' faults that hotels are unfinished, stray dogs are roaming the streets, plumbing in some sinks and toilets is not working, and much of the water is unfit to drink.

One of the well-documented stories illustrating the Russian incompetence occurred over the weekend involved British bobsledder Rebeka Wilson. Wilson was about to step into an elevator at the Athletes' Village when she saw at the last second that there was no elevator, only an empty shaft. Wilson tweeted a picture with the comment, "Wowzers!"

It should be noted Wilson did not blame the media for the potential tragedy.

Another classic Russian move occurred during the opening ceremonies. Russian state television aired footage of five floating snowflakes turning into the Olympic rings and bursting into pyrotechnics at the opening ceremony. The problem is, it didn't really happen.

One snowflake never expanded, and the pyrotechnics never went off. But everything worked fine for viewers of Russian television. When the fifth ring got stuck, Russian TV cut away to rehearsal footage when all five rings came together and the fireworks exploded on cue.

Oh well, it was probably the media's fault.


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