Olympics

SOCHI SCENE: Spartan by choice

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SOCHI, Russia (AP)

When the American basketball team went to the London Olympics, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and the rest of them didn't stay with the rest of Team USA in the Spartan accommodations of the athletes' village. They were put up in a posh hotel with heightened security, large, soft beds and gourmet breakfast.

It's the kind of setup that NHL players are used to having on the road as well. But here in Sochi, Zach Parise, Patrick Kane and the rest of their teammates are eschewing that lifestyle to hang with everyone else in the village. They did the same thing in Vancouver, preferring the camaraderie that comes with it.

''It's part of the games, being around other athletes,'' says Parise, a Minneapolis native. ''We don't mind it. It's fun. It's kind of like college dorms, all the other athletes in the same building.''

So it's no California King bed. Just a tiny twin.

Full continental breakfast? The Americans can't even get their yogurt.

Marble tile in the bathroom? In Sochi, luxury comes in the form of a shower curtain. And Parise wouldn't have it any other way.

''I like getting the full Olympic experience,'' Parise says.

- By Jon Krawczynski - Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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