In the days leading up to the Olympics, horror stories emerged from media members arriving in Sochi. The hotels weren’t ready, the water was disgusting and the beds for the Olympians were tiny.
On his first day back on the ice with the Bruins, Slovakia captain Zdeno Chara  emphatically shot down the narrative that Sochi was in any way unpleasant.
“Of course,” Chara said when asked if Sochi’s shortcomings were exaggerated. “Absolutely. There was nothing like it. I don’t know what they were talking about, but I think that just like any other big events, the main focus is to make sure the athletes have everything they need first, and then obviously it goes from there. Maybe there was a few media people [who] didn’t get the service or the accommodations they kind of are used to, and that’s what maybe the started the whole thing about how everything was bad and not good, but honestly, I can’t say one bad word about the rooms, the food, the transportation, the safety.
“Everything was really, really good and really made it so easy to get around and feel really comfortable right away. It didn’t feel at all like you were somewhere in Russia. It honestly felt kind of like a resort, that everything was just so close and convenient for you.”
In addition to serving as the captain of the hockey team, which did not medal, Chara served as Slovakia’s flag-bearer, which he said was an “unbelievable feeling.” As such, he called his time in Sochi “one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
“It was amazing,” Chara said. “Every Olympics are very special, but this Olympics, I would say, [was] amazing. Everything about it I enjoyed.”