Gregorian Chants

Bill Hancock’s Olympic update: Russia’s hockey loss, Dutch treats and a new way to think of ‘Boomer Sooner’

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 his latest update, Wednesday, Feb. 18:

• A great racket erupted from the sidewalk below our room on the fourth floor … People were singing, clapping and laughing at the tops of their lungs. I fumbled for the clock and was horrified to see that it was 4:30 a.m. …

I couldn’t even tell what country they were from. Drunken rantings are the universal language. I sure hoped they weren’t Americans.

I wanted to shake them from their morning slumber by playing Boomer Sooner at top volume in each of their apartments at 7:30 a.m. But quickly realized that I didn’t know where they lived. …

• You haven’t lived until you have seen speedskating fans from The Netherlands. This evening their little 10-piece brass band made its annual appearance. The members were clad in striped overalls and wooden shoes. They were delightful. Of course, The Netherlands seem to have won every medal in sight.

• Russia Fact that surely must be true because somebody told me: World War II is known in Russia as the “Great Patriotic War.” Soviet military and civilian deaths were 10.6 million and 15.9 million respectively, accounting for a third of all World War II casualties. …

• Took the TM-1 bus to watch the Finland-Russia hockey game. The Russian fans were awesome as usual, chanting “russ-EE-ah” and waving flags. … I felt sorry when they lost. But cheering against Finland is like cheering against Rice or Northwestern, for crying out loud. The Russian volunteers were gloomy and I’m sure there were a few tears. The 50 Finnish fans (that was fun!) had a great time.