Most people can be found walking around this beautiful city, touring the historic city center, the river Neva, and the numerous small canals on foot even after midnight. This is the perfect time to travel to Russia, as you literally have more hours in the day to fit in sightseeing, tours and enjoy the many restaurants late into the night.
What country in its right mind would willingly and consciously walk into a Winter Games with the possibility of anything even reaching toward $50 billion on its table? The Sochi Games gave everyone else a chance to think about it for a second, and once you do it's sort of like being sober in a club where all your friends are buying bottle service... you can only get so drunk.
The Sochi Olympics, like other popular television viewing events (read: Oscars, Super Bowl) reinforced the importance and potential effectiveness of contextually relevant ads. Think of the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion spot that went viral, or Proctor & Gamble's Thank You Mom commercial.
In honour of this International Women's Day, it seems fitting we turn our attention to our female Olympians, who performed so wonderfully well at Sochi, and made all of us back in Canada exceptionally proud. How well did they do? Very well. If there were an all-female Olympics, Canada would have placed first in the medal count, with six gold, six silver and one bronze.
Take your time finding the right table at the right restaurant. You'll be there awhile -- might as well get comfortable. The bottle of vodka is to be served cold and of high quality. The person that picks up the first bottle is in charge of pouring and pacing shots for the entire night, even once you change venues...
Vladimir Putin posed as a protector of children, while making gay youth outcasts in their own country. The IOC posed as an organisation above politics, while unabashedly bending national politics to its commercial interests. Barack Obama posed as a defender of human rights by grappling with foreign governments, while he shied from the fight in domestic politics.
Critics claim the violence in Ukraine has 'cast a shadow' over Sochi. The shadow of death? But the media has already cast one of those, with its endless probing of accidental deaths of athletes in training and competition, or the deaths of athletes' loved ones, or athletes' miscarriages, all to plumb the human spirit's capacity of "labouring under the shadow of death" to earn the life-choosing glory of Olympic victory. The carnage then in Ukraine doesn't cast a shadow on the Sochi Games. Instead it casts a light on something true about us, something we may already know but don't think much about, something Mark Twain was getting at when he said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
On this superficial scale of chromaticity, P.K. Subban is endowed with the darkest of chocolate hues. None of this should matter in a game of Olympic hockey where the only colour on our minds is gold. And Subban's skin colour should definitely be of no consequence in a multicultural country like Canada. Yet, reaction to the sight of a black man on Team Canada's Sochi roster, as it did at the 2013 World Juniors, revealed that a nation that "doesn't see race" has discarded its rose-coloured glasses.
A surprise to many, the arts were once an integral part of Olympic games programming, creating a rich legacy of cultural achievement. That's right, gold, silver and bronze for painting, sculpture, music and literature. Early activities also included musical contests and the high profile contest of the heralds and trumpeters.
Amid the medal counts, terror threats and Norwegian curling flare lies the notion that the Olympics make the world a better place. Any sense of togetherness or egalitarianism at the 2012 London Games, for instance, certainly did not apply to the podium. Only 85 of the 204 countries with Olympic committees won medals. If we look at what Olympism has yielded for some of the countries most in need of peace and goodwill, the picture is even less inclusive. The reason the Haitian earthquake orphan will not make it to the Olympics is probably not because she doesn't believe staunchly enough in her dreams.