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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Ex- IOC official: Judge Sochi later

February 6th, 2014
03:39 PM ET

Issues of politicization and questions of preparation are a staple of any Olympic Games, but in the end they'll be "defined by the seventeen days of sports performance". That's what Michael Payne, former marketing director of the IOC, told Becky when she spoke to him live from Sochi.

"There's always an awful lot of background chatter in the lead-up to the games. What we're seeing here from the IOC standpoint is frankly nothing new."

Answering the question of whether facilities would be ready on time, Payne stated that "Even before Lillehammer, probably the most successful Winter Games ever, the week before was not a pretty picture... Certainly the feedback you're also getting from the athletes who are coming into town is seeing facilities like they've never seen before, very positive feedback from the athletes' village. The media/TV facilities and press center is also getting very high reports."

Becky also asked Payne about the activists who are calling for boycotts over Russia's anti-gay laws. "The politicization of the Games has been there for the last century. I think President Bach has been very clear in the IOC leadership about the IOC's values and that all athletes, no matter what gender, what sex, what position are welcome, and they've received all the assurances and everything from President Putin. But I mean it amuses me, this gay debate. You go back to the Games in Atlanta – two years before the Games in Atlanta when they had the Volleyball Cobb County there was far more draconian proposals coming from the local community, anti-gay, and a whole boycott of sponsor products back then, so it's not exactly a new issue."

Filed under:  Activism • Becky's Interviews • Olympics • Russia • Sochi • Sport

Mexican skier: I'd only win best dressed

February 3rd, 2014
03:30 PM ET

With the Sochi Olympics just days away, the world's top athletes are converging on the Russian seaside resort.  Among them will be a Mexican skier, who's aiming to make a splash with style rather than sport.

55-year-old Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe has been skiing for Mexico in the Olympics since 1984.  While he doesn't stand a chance against the world's best downhill racers, his custom-designed uniform is sure to make an impact.  His quirky suit is inspired by Mexico's mariachis, well known bands of folk musicians.  Max Foster asked him where his Olympic style inspiration came from.

"We thought we'll do this mariachi outfit which is a guy who likes to sing, who likes life and who likes to have a good time, but still is Mexican without a doubt," von Hohenlohe said.  "Style will be remembered long after results are forgotten."

Filed under:  Entertainment • Fashion • London • Olympics • Russia • Sochi • Sport • Video

"Don't Try This at Home!"

January 31st, 2014
06:05 PM ET

“Try this for size,” said one of Team GB’s Olympic coaches, passing me a lycra suit and crash helmet.

I should have known better.

But I didn’t.

On a cold, wet morning in mid-January, I disappeared into the back of a shed and struggled into the ridiculously tight-fitting “onesie”.

What happened next may just have scarred me for life.

Coach Danny Holdcroft’s 5-minute master class in the finer points of Skeleton racing should have been enough to convince me to cut my losses and run.

But it wasn’t.

Dutifully, I bent down, drew a breath, grabbed the rails on the sled... and took off at a sprint, throwing myself face first onto my stomach. And closed my eyes!

I don’t really remember what happened next but I heard myself scream. It was all over in less than 15 seconds. I’d hit the buffers on at the end of the 100-meter track at a (slow) speed of 30kph and I’d lived to tell the tale.

Skeleton is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous sports in the Winter Olympics. At speeds of more than 100kph and stresses of up to 5g, athletes take on the track with no steering, no brakes and no protective shell around them.

Adrenalin pumping – yes.

Would I do it again? Probably not...

But what I can say with absolute certainty is that I'll be cheering on every single one of those athletes in Sochi who take on this crazy sport – from the comfort of my sofa, of course!

Filed under:  Olympics • Sochi • Sport • Video

Sochi terror threats overshadow events

January 28th, 2014
03:11 PM ET

With the Winter Olympics in Sochi set to begin in just 10 days, headlines are filled with talk of security concerns, terror threats and contingency plans.

But what about the 6,000 athletes who are arriving for the games?  The world's best lugers, figure skaters and ice hockey players are descending on Sochi for their Olympic moment.

Becky takes a closer look at whether the sports can steal the spotlight from security in Sochi.

Filed under:  Analysis • Europe • London • Olympics • Russia • Sochi • Sport • Video

Do you know the Winter Olympic events?

January 27th, 2014
03:15 PM ET

Curling, luge, short track, skeleton... How well do you know your winter sports? Connect the World took to the streets of London to find out.

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Filed under:  Olympics • Sochi • Video
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