The Winter Olympics opening ceremony is tomorrow night! Are you planning a get-together in your apartment to celebrate? Since it is more fun to watch sports events with friends, a Winter Olympics party is a great idea! But first – you’ll need to prep a little.
First, impress your friends with some knowledge about the Olympic Games and the city of Sochi:
- The Olympics can be traced back to 490 BC, when a Greek soldier named Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens – a distance of 25 miles. After he announced that the Greeks were successful in the battle against the invading Persians, he died of exhaustion.
- The first actual Olympic Games took place in 776 BC with one event – a footrace of about 600 feet called a “stade.” Since the track was the length of the stade, the place where the race occurred became known as the “stadium.”
- In 1896, the first modern Olympic Games took place. A race was held that was about the same length in honor of Pheidippides.
- Women weren’t allowed to participate in the Olympic Games until 1900.
- The winter Olympic Games were first held in 1924. Originally, they were held a few months before the summer games. That didn’t change until 1994, when the winter games were held two years after the summer games.
- There were no Olympic Games held in 1916, 1940, or 1944 (due to WWI and WWII).
- Sochi is located along the Black Sea coast not far from the border between Russia and Georgia.
- Joseph Stalin established Sochi as a fashionable resort, and he had a vacation home built there.
- Even though they are hosting the Winter Olympics, Sochi is considered humid and subtropical, with an average temperature of 65 degrees. The coldest months of January and February average 50 degrees.
- The record high for Sochi was recorded on July 30, 2000, when it reached 102.9 degrees.
Now that you have some great little factoids to impress your guests with, dazzle them when you serve the following dishes and drinks:
- Buy some packs of Life Savers and put a blue, red, yellow, and green candy in clear glasses and fill with a champagne or other see-through drink (such as 7-Up or Sprite). Your guests will be impressed with the Olympic "rings" floating in their glasses!
- Cheer on Team USA with special drinks! Fill clear glasses with ice. Pour cranberry juice in the bottom 1/3 of the cup then slowly pour blue Gatorade on top of the ice so it doesn't mix with the cranberry juice (the trick is to pour slowly and let the ice slow it down even more). Then, add some 7-Up.
- Vodka is the signature drink of Russia. Try making some White Russians! Or, if your guests prefer, tea is also very popular in Russia. Make black tea and stir in a little strawberry jam.
- If you want to serve dinner, make beef stroganoff! Stroganoff is basically slices of steak mixed with egg noodles … slice up a steak, sprinkle with flour, and brown the slices in a skillet with olive oil and butter. Remove the steak and sauté sliced onions and mushrooms in the skillet, then add the steak back in. Add a can of mushroom soup and a can of beef broth. Cover and cook about 30 minutes. Just before serving, mix in about a cup of sour cream. Serve over cooked egg noodles.
- Other great dishes include blini (basically crepes), caviar, shashlik (a kebab that uses lamb and veggies), and knish (a fried potato dumpling).
Are you planning to watch the opening ceremonies? Are you planning a get-together for the event? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, or in the comments section below.