After nearly two weeks of Olympic competition in Sochi, Russian President, Vladimir Putin is not completely satisfied with how the Games have turned out. So he has called a "mulligan", and is releasing a statement saying the Winter Olympic Games will be replayed next year, again in Sochi. This announcement came just hours after the Russian Hockey team was narrowly defeated by the United States in a shoot-out. There were many factors in Putin's decision, but the hockey game may have been the tipping point.
As you may have already seen countless times, Sochi was clearly not prepared for the Olympics to start just a couple of weeks ago. Twitter and other social media outlets were littered with stories of how rooms were not prepared, the large amount of stray dogs running around the city and the lack of security for internet access on personal devices. Sochi was supposed to have 22,000 brand new hotel rooms ready to go, in time for the Winter Games. But many hotels did not have these rooms available, and some hotels were even lacking lobbies and front desks.
The Opening Ceremonies went almost flawlessly, save for an electrical problem with the Olympic Rings display. A malfunction kept the 5th Olympic ring from opening, and ultimately ruined what would have otherwise been a magnificent optical work of art. The man responsible for the malfunction has since gone missing. Russian officials have begun to call this year's Olympic Games a warm up for the real deal coming next year. The IOC is not quite sure how they are going to handle this new announcement. They certainly do not want to step on Putin's toes, but they also know that this is a ridiculous request and in no way will be honored.
Vladimir Putin has done some pretty outlandish things in his time, but this may top all of them. Putin is sending thank you emails to all countries that have participated in his "warm up". He ends his letters with, "Sochi looks forward to seeing you next year at the real Winter Olympics." He is also including invoices and reserving rooms on behalf of the countries for 2015. Those countries that check the "Gay Free" box will get a 20% discount on their purchases. Let's hope the IOC can get everything straightened out soon. Otherwise, I will see you all next year in Sochi…again.