SOCHI, Russia _ Montreal Canadiens defensesman P.K. Subban stepped off the ice after the Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team’s first practice Monday at the 2014 Winter Olympics and proclaimed the housing situation and security in Sochi, Russia good.
“You know what, it just goes to show you what media can do,” the ever-candid Subban said. “It’s just the complete opposite of what I’d thought it’d be, it’s awesome. The setup is great, the rooms are awesome. Guys were even saying the setup here is better than it was in Torino.”
Torino, Italy, was the site of the 2006 Winter Games. In the days leading to the Sochi games, media outlets reported about unfinished hotels and shabbily-completed accommodations with questionable water and few working amenities.
However, most Olympic athletes have gushed about their accommodations, which are mainly located near the coastal ice arenas or mountain slopes where they will perform.
“I’ve got to give credit to the people of Sochi and of Russia who have made it really comfortable for us coming here,” he added. “It’s been a great experience so far, and we haven’t even started playing yet. So I’m sure it’s just going to get better.”
While many people in North America were wringing their hands about whether or not to travel to Sochi to watch the Winter Games, Subban’s family came to this Black Sea resort city in force. The Norris Trophy-winning defenseman arrived with his parents, two sisters, and three nephews.
“I think the whole big deal about security is just getting way overblown and it shouldn’t overshadow what these people (Russian Olympic organizing committee) have done.”
After practice, Subban admitted that he was awe-struck by the talent on Team Canada, with its all-star roster that includes forwards Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and goaltender Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks.
“These are world-class players,” he said. “I like the fact that after practice I can play keep away with Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. I’m hoping by the end of the tournament, when I play keep away back in Montreal, I better be the best player.”