Warm Weather in Sochi Inhibit Some, But Not Gold Medalist Alexander Bilodeau

This years winter olympic games are being held in Sochi, Russia. Prior to hosting the 2014 winter games, Sochi was best known as a subtropical summer resort location. Statistically, it will be the warmest city ever to host the winter olympic games. The warm weather is clearly an imposition to many athletes in various outdoor sports in the winter olympics. The warm weather in the mountains caused soft snow and even the cancellation of women’s downhill training. The soft snow is also very dangerous to many of the other events such as: alpine skiing, halfpipe, mogul skiing, slopestyle, snowboard cross, ski Jumping, cross country and biathlon, and sliding sports. Due to the horrid weather conditions, #Sochiproblems is trending more than #Sochi2014 on Twitter. You may be asking yourself the question: why host the winter games in Sochi when it has beach like weather? According to Nick DeLuca “Russia won its bid by way of a visionary campaign, a widespread marketing initiative and all the while touting Sochi’s resort-like locale on the coast of the Black Sea”. The whole process of winning the bid is a long and tedious one that goes on for years.
One of my favorite events to watch in the winter olympic games is the mogul skiing. It is a type of freestyle skiing where skiers display tricks, jumps and turning abilities, as well as aggressive turns while remaining in the fall line over bumps or mounds of hard snow. During mogul skiing, skiers absorb the impact of the bumps by bending at the knees and hips. You could see how soft snow may be treacherous to those attempting to freestyle ski down the moguls. This year while watching the mens moguls I was obviously wanting USA to take home the gold, but while watching I felt myself slowly start cheering for Canadian Alex Bilodeau to take home the gold.
Throughout his runs on the moguls the commentators kept disclosing facts about Bilodeau, like no matter what happens he would be retiring after this years games at the age 26. They also mentioned his brother a lot, claiming he was Bilodeau’s biggest fan. It was not until Bilodeau finished his second run when the cameras zoom in on the crowd to his brother (who suffers from cerebral palsy) ecstatically cheering him on. Before Bilodeau’s final run he was standing fourth in a six man race. In his very last stand on the world stage, Bilodeau compiled what commentators are calling the best run of the entire year with a score of 26.31. Bilodeau won the gold defeating teammate Mikael Kingsbury. Bilodeau is the first two-time gold medalist in freestyle skiing, and is happy to retire is career on that note. After winning the gold Bilodeau donated his gold medal performance to disabled brother Frederic. Bilodeau says [about his brother] “He has dreams like you and I but he can’t go after most of those dreams, I have the ability that I can go after those dreams. And out of respect for him, I go after them.”


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