A lawyers view on the first week of the Sochi Games
It has been ten long and hectic days since my arrival in Sochi. Most of my time was spent on preparations for the opening ceremony and through the crucial opening weekend.
Having read the media coverage of Sochi with interest, I have been comparing it to my own experiences.
It is true some people have arrived to find incomplete hotels and I have heard of some rooms in the mountain cluster without hot water and heating. However the majority, including me, have had no problems. Having said that the latest Olympic fad is to get yourself trapped in Sochi buildings as many times as possible. Leading the way is US bobsleigher, Johnny Quinn, who has gotten stuck in both his hotel bathroom and a lift within 48 hours. I am not far behind having got stuck in the lift in my hotel. There was a moment of panic as I contemplated having to spend the night there but, to my relief, it started working again. So far I have not seen any protests, whether overt or symbolic, against the Russian government's stance on homosexuality. The issue seems to have been forgotten somewhat by the press now that the Games are underway but I am sure that will change if there is a protest, particularly by an athlete.
Apparently it snowed quite a lot in the mountains until the day I arrived in Sochi. The entire time I have been here it has been gloriously sunny. Brilliant for me and my winter tan, not so good for the snow conditions. The negative affect this is having on the snow sports athletes' performances is a big topic of discussion here with there being lots of falls, especially in the slopestyle and half pipe. You may have read about the giant deep freezers in which the Russian authorities have apparently stored back-up snow from the last few years. The organising committee might well be raiding them very soon.
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Raj Koria is an experienced and charismatic international sports business lawyer and adviser. Raj's experience includes media and television rights, sponsorship sales and servicing, product merchandising and retail distribution and on-site marketing operations. He is London based but services an international client base at Halebury, the alternative law firm.