Chris Jansing, host of Jansing & Co., is covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia for msnbc. This marks the seventh Olympics she has covered. You asked questions about her experience so far in Sochi, and she responded. Take a look at some of the highlights from the Q&A.
InsideCableNews: So how are *your* living arrangements? As bad as the reports I've been seeing? Or did you get lucky?
Jansing: Most of the problems that have been reported have been in the mountain village; I'm down in town at what's called the "Coastal Cluster," and the hotels where NBC folks are staying are all new. While the shower curtains are missing and there are no dressers in the rooms, the design seems more European than unfinished to me. And honestly, when you're working 16-hour days and on TV live until 4 a.m. Sochi time -- you fall into bed, and as long as it's clean and warm, you're pretty happy!!!
Fred Orth: There's always the eternal question of "what do winter athletes eat that is different than summer athletes", or, how the heck is the food?
Jansing: There are a couple of givens for most elite athletes: they burn a tremendous amount of calories, so they eat a lot more than you and me but generally -- in my experience -- aren't exactly loading up on french fries and candy! The Americans are disappointed that some yogurt they've been wanting for breakfast has been held up in customs! A couple of the athletes I've profiled are real "foodies": skaters Ashley Wagner and Meryl Davis. They both love Italian food and it turns out the athletes' village has an Italian chef. The cafeteria there is open round-the-clock and has been getting pretty good reviews... But if they want to cheat and have fries, there's a McDonald's on site.
Fred Orth: Is the huge security presence making any impact upon the "spirit" of the games, from the perspective of the athletes, or from those attending?
Jansing: The consensus of athletes I've talked to is absolutely not. They're used to travel and adjusting to new conditions. So this is -- they tell me -- another thing to deal with toward a goal of keeping their focus on being ready to perform. Also, this is the most accessible athletes' village to the actual venues -- maybe ever.
spughie: I'm a big fan of women's ice hockey, four members of team Canada played for the local collegiate team I follow, so it's exciting to see them on the big stage (one played in 2010). At times I've been quite shocked at how women athletes are not treated with the same respect as male athletes. So my question, are the women's facilities for sports played by both genders equal? And how are the ticket sales for women's sports? Thanks to you and your team, a great job as always.
Jansing: If that's true -- then watch out because TEAM USA is going to make America and the world sit up and take notice! The rivalry with the Canadians is epic and a USA-Canada final in women's hockey is one of the most anticipated events of these games. I. CANNOT. WAIT!!!
TO YOUR OTHER QUESTION: The men's and women's hockey, for example...figure skating...etc...they use the same facilities. I haven't been in locker rooms -- I'm not an athlete -- but every Olympian I've talked to is impressed with the venue facilities.
Ron Lewis: Who are your favorites in the competition?
Jansing: There are always so many exciting competitions but I was just talking to former Olympic hockey player Caitlin Cahow about the big USA-Canada women's hockey rivalry -- that's going to be an amazing game to watch. As an aging armchair athlete -- I'd love to see what Bode Miller can pull off. And I've spent time with figure skater Ashley Wagner as well as ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White -- great people, great families. But where else can you see such polar opposite sports as curling and halfpipe? I can't wait to see how Shaun White is going to wow us this Olympics.