Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
.... If I had a legitimate shot at winning OGM in Sochi, I'd avoid the summit like the plague. Why did they go? Was it mandatory?
Athletes would be foolish to skip the media summit, whether it is mandatory or not (I do not know the answer).

Overall, the media summit is a great opportunity for an athlete to promote her/his sport; to promote Team USA; and yes, to promote herself or himself.

(If it is in fact mandatory, I would not consider it cruel and unusual punishment. Quite the contrary, for the reasons above. And if an athlete wants the privilege of representing the USA on the field of play -- and of receiving support from the USOC and its official sponsors -- I think the USOC has the right to expect her or him to serve as an ambassador.)