Arguably only three events at the Winter Games could be deemed low risk to athletes' health. That is to say, with a small chance of injury from speed, stage or equipment.
By my reckoning curling, cross-country skiing and biathlon are low risk, though even in the last discipline - given athletes are carrying a firearm - there is a potential for injury.
All the others border on the bonkers end of the risk spectrum when you take a moment to assess them. Other global sport competitions just can't match the feast of fear-conquering on show here.
In the Summer Games, the 100 meters is undoubtedly a tough competition to take part in, but the injury threat it carries can't be too dissimilar from a walk in the park.
Let's wind this back a bit. In the 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, the United States of America and the Soviet Union took the world to the brink of nuclear war over 13 long days of missile mayhem in Cuba.
How nice then, that in 2014, not only are we all still alive and breathing but that relations have improved to such an extent that when the mother country of the USSR, Russia, now hosts an Olympics, America turns up to participate.
Better still, all of the historical grievances, cultural differences and national posturing can live on, peacefully, through the prism of a sport both nations are completely united in their passion over.
Ice hockey: It's the game that always takes top billing at the Winter Olympics, the men's final has a box-office appeal that no other event can match. And it's easy to see why.
It's not a fashionable thing, to report good news.
As a reporter the focus is all too often on unearthing the "sexier" headline and go straight for the jugular. And let's face it, Sochi has had plenty of bad press.
"Tradition is the living faith of the dead" as theologian Jan Pelikan once said and I'm in romantic mood, and not only because Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
So here's a thought for you – Sochi is proving more charming than anticipated. FULL POST
In the last few weeks we've had suicide bombers in Volgograd killing more than 34 people, and Islamic militants promising a "present" to organizers and visitors to Sochi in February.
At least five Olympic committees have received letters in Russian making “a terrorist threat” before the Winter Games, and security forces are hunting a woman suspected of planning a suicide bombing who is believed to already be in Sochi.
For any journalist covering a major event like this, the experience should be about reporting mind-boggling feats of skill and endurance. But Sochi feels different and I’m sure many – be they athletes or journalists – will travel to the Black Sea resort with feelings of trepidation. FULL POST
One of Jesse Owens' Olympic gold medals sold for almost $1.5 million. Has there ever been a more symbolic piece of sports memorabilia?—
Don Riddell (@donriddellCNN) December 09, 2013
8 hours, 2 check-in desks + 4 airport terminals since i woke up, i've made it to Vienna. In time for my connection too! Next stop Innsbruck.—
Amanda Davies (@AmandaJDavies) October 24, 2013
Glad wrestling is back in Olympics, but it's an IOC shambles. Modern Pent. should have been cut in 1st place. Squash / baseball wasted $$$$$—
Don Riddell (@donriddellCNN) September 08, 2013
Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Mike Tyson, David Beckham and even Tiger Woods!
I’ve been fortunate and truly blessed to have interviewed some of sport's biggest names one-on-one, but for years there remained a glaring hole in my professional resume.
Or rather two glaring holes: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. I’d have taken some time with even just one of them, but the two of them together and the chance of a first ever trip to Las Vegas? Not something I was about to pass up! FULL POST
Michael Phelps can claim to be the greatest swimmer of all-time for the following reasons:
- In 2008, he performed one of the greatest feats in Olympic history by winning eight gold medals from eight events in the pool
- He has set 29 individual world records, which is in itself a record
- He is the most successful swimmer in World Championships history boasting a haul of 26 gold medals
- And his success has transcended and changed his sport
And at the age of 27, the man known as the Baltimore Bullet and the Flying Fish, was primed to add clear water to any pretenders to the throne by netting a further seven golds to his burgeoning spoils of water-based combat at the London Games. The scene was set for history to once again be rewritten and to add to the spectacle Phelps would need to conquer one of the greatest rivalries in sport, on the greatest of stages, to take glory. FULL POST