Thought the 2010 Games were done? Well, they are but there’s the whole process of "the hand over" to Sochi, Russia. To their credit the Vancouver Sun have sent their fine Olympic reporter Jeff Lee over to Sochi along with a bunch of soon-to-be-jobless VANOC executives. Judging by the bizarre account of traveling through Russia on his blog, you have to wonder if his editors at the Sun were treating this trip as a perk of the job.
Jeff describes his flights on Aeroflot as being white-knuckle experiences:
When the Olympic debriefing in Sochi is over, I am seriously considering taking the 22-hour train back to Moscow.
Jeff also has first-hand experiences with body scanners – soon to be put in place in Canada’s major airports – that is both painful and funny to read about:
As I stuck my arms over my head as instructed, I noticed an unsmiling female security officer sitting right in front of me, not more than five feet away. She looked at me and then looked down at a computer image of my body. Hope she liked what she saw.
Jeff has a humorous account of the bizarre headlines in an English language newspaper translated (sometimes not well) from Russian, and he also encounters the squirm-inducing intolerance of the country expressed in a dessert:
My colleague, Ed Hula of Around The Rings, wanted something sweet and asked a local who spoke pretty good English what was on the dessert menu. Not much, she said. But then she brightened up. "They have Barack Obama cake." It’s chocolate marble cake with chocolate icing.
My jaw fell open. You could not possibly get away with that kind of overt racism in Canada.
You can (and should) follow Jeff’s wonderful account of his Russian adventure at www.vancouversun.com/insidetheolympics. Get home safe, Jeff!