How did that happen?
The American media seemed to have tried its level best to start another Cold War with Russia over the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but was unable to pull it off.
When the dust cleared on the recent winter Olympics Russia was left with a public relations image masterpiece that showed the country was up to the task of pulling off a major global spectacle.
The United States did not fare nearly as well as featured stars like Bode Miller and speedskater Shani Davis performed badly. Some U.S. speedskaters even blamed their uniforms for their poor performances. That came across to many as being whiney and poor losers.
Almost from the onset the U.S. news media (except NBC, which was televising the event) seemed intent on showing the country in a negative light. Initially, it highlighted major security concerns and how unsafe the Olympics would be for the athletes and visitors. That never happened.
Then the media went after the fact that Russia was not gay friendly. Because of that President Obama refused to attend the games and sent openly gay representatives to represent the U.S. That had little impact.
There were negative reports of strange toilet facilities and problems with media hotel rooms. Late night hosts had a field day (Jimmy Kimmel even hoaxed everyone by saying a wolf was loose in the Olympic dorms) poking it.
The cost of the games was often questioned. A few Olympic U.S. athletes complained about the venues. None of it seemed to matter as most of the biggest U.S. Olympic stars and teams faltered badly.
The closing ceremonies were spellbinding and Russia even showed a sense of humor by pranking themselves over an Olympic ring foul-up during the opening ceremonies. A bear blowing out the Olympic Torch and then shedding a tear was mesmerizing.
When the dust cleared the winner of the most medals and the most enhanced image was Russia.
On the other hand, the U.S. media and U.S. athletes were the biggest losers.