Wait, what? Alcohol banned from most events at Sochi Olympics

There’s nothing quite as great as enjoying a nice, cold beer while attending a sporting event.

There’s just something special and delicious about the age-old tradition – for those of age to drink, of course.

Well, fans at the Sochi Olympics have been dealt some harsh news – beer and alcohol isn’t being served at most events during the Winter Games.


The Wall Street Journal explains why this is happening:

Russia, whose most famous export may be vodka, is staging the driest Olympics in memory. For many fans, it is the biggest upset of the Winter Games. A new federal law last year prohibited the sale of alcohol inside sports stadiums and arenas. And a local ordinance last month banned alcohol sales within 50 meters of some sports venues.

Let that sit in for a moment.

It’s not all bad news, fans can still get alcohol at some of the venues, according to the WSJ.

In the mountain Olympic venues, which are outdoors and not subject to restrictions, the alcohol flows freely. At the snowboard halfpipe Tuesday, fans drank from cans of alcoholic Baltika and cups of mulled wine.

But at indoor ice venues along the Black Sea, drinking options are limited. The lone restaurant in the Olympic Park has a full bar. And alcoholic beer is sold at two Coca-Cola food stand areas and a larger food court. But with so much nonalcoholic beer on sale, the real thing is hard to find.

"It’s not advertised very well," said Canadian visitor Erin Gagne, 27. "We had no idea they sold beer at the Coke tent until we asked someone."

One fan brought up a very good point:

The sentiment has surprised some foreign visitors, particularly at events where drinking is common in other countries. "Who wants to watch curling sober?" said Scott Simms, the 27-year-old brother of Morgan Simms. "No one. I’ll tell you that right now."

While beer isn’t being served at most events, Canadian athletes are enjoying their special beer fridge that requires a Canadian passport to get free beer.

What did we learn from all of this? Canada is the big winner in Sochi.