Don't get me wrong -- from the images the media is showing of Sochi, Russia, the site of this year's Olympics is a beautiful place.
But underneath all of that beauty is a government that, let's face it, put a rush order on the completion of the Olympic Village. These athletes have trained tireless hours and in most cases, they all still have full-time jobs or families.
Training for the Olympics is a full-time commitment in and of itself. The way the Olympic Village was hastily put together is almost a slap in the face to these athletes who have trained and sacrificed in the hope of making their country proud.
There is no privacy in the bathrooms, with mirrors on the ceiling, and in some instances, the toilets are side-by-side with no dividers. All last week there were numerous reports coming out of Sochi that some of the athletes did not even have an extra pillow in their room. Some athletes were reportedly stuffing their jackets with towels and rolling them up to make a pillow.
Prior to the games even starting, a few athletes were injured on the downhill skiing course during pre-race runs. The jumps were dubbed too steep by the athletes because those test-riders who went down the course were not quite at the speed of the Olympians.
And then there was the report of United States' bobsledder, Johnny Quinn, who busted through a bathroom door after it locked from the outside. Quinn was taking a shower prior to his appearance on the "Today Show," and according to CNN, he tried to knock on the door to get the attention of his neighbors down the hall, but nobody heard him. The thing that really gets me are the feared "toothpaste bombs" making it through security.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this Olympics site since it was chosen in 2007 by the Olympic Committee. Many athletes chose to stay out of the opening ceremony due to their fear of the possibility of a terrorist attack. I am by no means an expert on counter-terrorism, but I did study the history of world terrorism. Those athletes just by making the choice not to participate in the opening ceremonies have given the potential terrorists exactly what they wanted to invoke ... fear.
On the surface, Sochi looks just like every other Winter Olympics. Snow, ice and mountains ... need I say more? It all looks the same on television. It's increased use of social media by both media personnel and athletes that has exposed the underbelly of the Sochi Olympic games. All the stuff NBC won't show you on their live broadcasts has been exposed by, in some cases, its own reporters.
Look at Channel 7's Nancy Chen, who has on numerous occasions during the Olympics tweeted out pictures of stray dogs who the media and athletes have been taking care of.
Most of you might know by now that I am a huge proponent of no-kill shelters for animals because let's face it, I love them all. My Lab-Rottweiler mix, Doey, is a rescue. It's good that these media members are tweeting pictures of these dogs because in some cases, perhaps the dogs will be brought back to the United States and other countries and find a loving home.
These dogs are the lucky ones who the government failed to wrangle up prior to the start of the games because in all likelihood, they probably would've been euthanized.
The games themselves have been interesting to watch. I have been waiting for the start of the men's hockey tournament all week.
It's a unique phenomenon that comes only once every four years when the world's elite athletes battle each other for a medal.
But it's about more than the medal. It's that joy of representing your country on the biggest stage. It's sport for the beauty of the game, not the paycheck.
That's what makes the Olympics so special.