I'm going to start this series of Olympic posts by shamelessly declaring my love for the Winter Olympic Games. I got hooked on them when I was a kid watching the likes of Dorothy Hamill. I've since had the delight of attending three games – Salt Lake City, Turino and Vancouver and am glued to the television for these 17 days in February.
Flashback to Chamonix, France, 1924. The event, originally known as "International Winter Sports Week" by the French Olympic Committee was retroactively designated as the inaugural Winter Games by the IOC. 258 athletes took part in nine sports, including figure skating, curling and hockey. I love this charming parade through the town. Coincidentally, the Soviet Union officially declared the death of Vladimir Lenin this year.
Today in Sochi, Russia – My, how far have we come in some 90 years. An estimated $51 billion has been earmarked for infrastructure by the Olympic host with over 2800 athletes participating. The scale of the Opening Ceremonies get more and more spectacular with each host city. Its almost hard to believe the difference.