BLOG: Winter Olympics not for Asian nations

By Assunta Ng

Did you see there were few Asian countries participating in the Sochi Olympics? Well, most Asian countries are located in the tropics. They’d rather go for Summer Olympics — tropical sports.

There were only 89 countries in the 2014 Winter Olympics, which was considered a record high, as opposed to over 200 countries in the Summer Olympics in 2012.

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Ski equipment

The truth is, only the richer Asian nations, such as China, Japan, and South Korea, can afford to train their athletes for the Winter Olympics. Winter sports cost a fortune in training and equipment.

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Kristi Yamaguchi (Photo from Kristi Yamaguchi facebook page)

Former Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, who won her gold medal in figure skating for America in 1992, said it cost her family over $1 million for her training. The skates are expensive. A figure skating costume by a famous designer can cost more than $35,000. Notice the athletes need to have three new dazzling outfits to compete for the short, long, and exhibition shows. No athlete puts on the same costume during these programs.

And oh, they couldn’t dress shabby for their practice either, as the reporters were watching and photographing. Their practice dresses looked just as stunning. Just to participate in the figure skating Olympics competition could cost over $100,000. That’s not including airfare and hotel.

Take another winter sport like cross-country skiing. The equipment, including skis, poles, gears, bindings, and clothes (jackets, boots, pants, face warmer, helmet, goggles, mask, gloves, socks, and beanie) are all necessary for the competition. The bill for these essentials is over $100,000. How can an Indian, Nepalese, Vietnamese, or Burmese citizen afford to foot the bill?

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Pyeongchang

The good news is that the next Winter Olympics will be held in an Asian nation, South Korea, in 2018. I suspect more Asian nations will be more prepared to join the games.

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Russian President Putin

President Putin, you need a makeover!

Russian President Putin never smiled during the Olympics until the closing ceremony. Didn’t his aides remind him, “Smile, you are on camera! The world is watching!”

President Putin, you don’t have to look so angry, stuffy, and tense. You are not a general, but a leader. You are not dealing with spies at the Olympics. This was your opportunity to change the image of the old Russia, and showcase the new Russia’s positive aspects. You just killed a golden opportunity!

Haven’t you learned anything from President Obama? Charisma can carry you a long way, win friends and even enemies, and cultivate surprising goodwill and influence.

Every time Obama travels outside the United States, thousands come to see him. Obama knows how to charm. He projects what a 21st century leader should be.

Mr. Putin, you really need an image consultant to soften you up or give you a makeover! (end)

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