- Created on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 20:14
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By RENAT ABSALYAMOV
Nine. Eight. Seven. Only seven days remain until the beginning of the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The clock ticks while billions of people are getting ready to watch a $51 billion winter performance in the place where the average temperature is about 10 Celsius.
“Every Olympic Games, especially the Winter (Olympics), is very exciting for Canadians and obviously shows the pride of the nation,” says Greg Bosak, a 30-year-old bar manager at Ye Ode Squire in the Seaway Mall, Welland.
“I think that it is a great privilege for our country to be in it,” adds Domenic Inneo, a manager at Park, a bar in Welland.
Ye Ode Squire and Park are two of at least six bars and taverns in the city that are going to show the games.
In addition to other bars, they plan to have their TV feed dialed to figure skating, skiing, skeleton, bobsled, curling and, of course, hockey – in short, everything where Canada has a chance to win a medal.
“Obviously, our main focus is going to be the hockey games,” says Bosak.
“Canada is known for the hockey skills,” explains Inneo, adding, “That is our national sport. That is what we are growing up to know. That is what we are supposed to be the best at.”
Like the bar manager at Ye Ode Squire, Inneo expects many people from various countries who like hockey will drop in.
“We have got so many TVs over here so that we will probably put Sweden and Canada on one TV [and] Russia and Germany on another TV, because we have all different kinds of receivers, so we can carry five or six games at one time,” says Inneo.
Cameron Skelton, 21, is a Niagara College student who hopes to watch hockey at home and also in a bar. He is a second-year student in the Police Foundations program, and says he works “at midnights, so it is hard to go out and watch stuff, but if I get a chance to go to a bar and watch a hockey game, I will definitely take that chance.
“Mostly, [I am going to watch] hockey, but I also enjoy watching bobsledding, skiing, snowboard competitions and other stuff.”
“Honestly, I hardly ever watch the Winter Olympic Games, but, this time, I am in Canada, so I am going to watch it with my foreign friends in a bar,” says JinYuan You, 19, a student in the English Language Studies program. “My favourite sports are curling and figure skating.”
According to David Siegel, a professor of political science at Brock University in St. Catharines, Olympic Games not only unite viewers and sport players, and bring the world together, but may also be used by politicians to hide problems of the host and other countries.
“This is what sometimes is called bread and circuses approach,” says Siegel. “You want to distract people from day-to-day problems, from not having enough bread, by having a circus.”
In 2008, it was censorship used by the Chinese government towards foreign journalists. In 2010, it was marginalization of homeless people. Now, it is lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights violation.
“Anytime, when it is a world event like this, there is always a kind of political implication, always some political interest. … I think the host country of the Olympics is always on display, in some ways, and, of course, if they are on display, they want to show the great things about the country, but, you know, people are also concerned about political issues.”