(NECN: Jack Thurston, Burlington, Vt.) - The Olympics, now at about their halfway point, have brought disappointments, but also a lot of excitement to fans worldwide, including in Burlington, Vt. "You've got to love the Olympics," said Mike Nestor, a fan enjoying lunchtime broadcasts of the Winter Games at the Church Street Tavern on Burlington's Church Street Marketplace.
The events in Sochi have made headlines for the warm weather that contributed to mushy snow conditions for several outdoor competitions, and for novelty discussions, such as the resort city's usual double toilets. But Nestor, a hockey fan, told New England Cable News he is focused on a preliminary round matchup Saturday that should evoke memories of that famous 1980 "Miracle on Ice." "U.S. and Russia, 7:30 AM," Nestor said. "Bloody Marys. It's going to get nuts."
Lunchtime fans watching at the Church Street Tavern were stinging from some letdowns by the rocky start for Team USA, namely snowboarding stand-out Shaun White's disappointing performance. "Shaun White didn't win," lamented Olympics fan Cody Fauteux.
"I wish Shaun White would've won a medal," added Fauteux's friend, Connor Finn.
Still, the sense was at least the games have brought surprises and introduced the world to new stars, and new events. A men's sweep in the debuting competition of slopestyle skiing was a bit hit in Vermont, a place that loves its winter sports. "They're really exciting to watch," Olympics fan Jeff Mongeon said of the slopestyle runs. "They're different. They're new, and I think a lot of the Gen Xers and Gen Ys are really buying into them."
He still has time to toast international competitors. The Winter Games wrap up a week from Sunday.