The sport begins. After Opening Ceremony festivities we woke up late this morning, so making it up to the mountain for the snowboarding was not an option!
Instead we started with Women’s Ice Hockey Heat 1: USA v Finland, in the Shayna Arena. One of the few sports I have chosen to watch before, well men’s anyway, so I had some expectations. Few of them were met! I gave no doubt these women are top class in their sport, but the whole feeling is very different. I am told it is a much more technical game than the men’s, which is hard for a novice like me to spot in the chaos of the game. It is no-contact, which means much less aggressive than the men’s game, so no fights! And generally a calmer experience!
Then we set off for a walk around the park to the next venue. This is was easier said than done. It seems the privilege of our pass assumes that we want to come out of the back entrance and take a car to the next venue. Things are just not set up for us to walk with the peasants!
We did manage, though, by crossing through staff and trade passages, and entered the park.
It is a great space, and having all the roads around the edge makes it very much a park. Each of the stadia is distinct and impressive. Then they have put fencing or marquees just in front, so you never quite get a full view of the building’s splendour. Even the big torch has a refreshment stand just under it!!
Onto Long Track Speed Skating in the Adler Arena. We had been in a car with some Dutch folk on the way in and they assured us that this would be a Dutch sweep. They weren’t wrong, although the way the seeding worked there were three Russians on the leader board until the last four races. Another great venue, spacious and good views all around the track. The crowd started off pretty thin, but when the Russians raced more arrived and again in time for the Dutch.
After a brief nap back at the hotel I headed out again to watch the Figure -Skating at the Iceberg. I was just in time to see our female short piece. Figure Skating is a dubious sport on my book. Again, I don’t question the skill levels or the difficulty, but when the scoring all comes down to subjective scoring it is more of an artistic performance than a sport- discuss!
I didn’t stay till the end and instead went for a walk around the park to enjoy the evening atmosphere. I wonder if it is just early in the week, but it is not that busy around. The park looks great lit up, though!!