by Joan Valentine

The emotional and artistic side of the Russian culture was on display in full force during the opening of the Winter Games. An intricate light show was complimented by the human element, dancing and singing their way through Russian History.  Last night’s ceremony was a dream realized by so many people in this country. And watching the spectacle one forgets the craziness of logistical challenges at these games. Yes, you have to pass through a medal detector just to visit the WC. So what if the and the wallpaper is still drying in your hotel room and the paint is tacky? Or that you may have boarded a Gondola that was built only last week and crossing bridges that seem like they will barely support the weight  of just one person.

Prior to opening ceremonies I had the the opportunity to meet and hobnob with many former Olympians. I however neglected all those beautiful people so that I could have my picture taken with  former Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano.  She is heading the US delegation at the request of the White House and traveled to Sochi for a long weekend.  Now that is an athletic event that is surely medal worthy!