From Prairie Village to Sochi: Bill Hancock’s latest Olympic update

02/11/2014 2:09 PM

02/11/2014 2:09 PM

Prairie Village’s Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff, began volunteering with the USOC at the Olympics in 1984 and is in Sochi, sharing daily reports with friends and colleagues, including The Star.

Here are excerpts from Hancock’s latest email, from Monday, Feb. 10:

• The City of Sochi is a bustling place in a different world from Olympic Park. … There’s horn-honking traffic and hundreds of little shops. Rather than one giant mega-outfit containing everything your little heart desires, one store sells only sausages, another only bread, another only high-end jewelry, another only cell phones, another only candy. …

We resisted the urge to buy anything until we found the ubiquitous dolls-within-dolls. At the security entrance for the train station, the guard wanted to see what we inside our shopping bag. So we took doll out of doll out of doll out of doll until the security guy finally threw up his hands and said something like, “no mas!” He almost smiled.

Yes, some of the areas near the Olympic Park are still under construction. Seems like all the necessary meat is ready, but the gravy is not.

• Forgot to say that President Putin was at the figure skating team event with us last night. Well, not exactly WITH us. But he was there. And so were we. …

• One writer told me he is embarrassed about his hotel in the mountains. “It’s the best place I’ve ever stayed. They opened the swimming pool today. And my view is awesome. It’s fantastic.” …

• Walked to see speedskating at Adler Arena tonight. It’s ballet, poetry and rock music. The orange-clad Dutch fans were out in force as always, although not as vocal as in Torino. I got a comfortable seat at the turn, put on my gloves and hat, and enjoyed the beautiful arena and beautiful racing. …

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