Oh, where to begin. Perhaps with the fact that Sochi is a sub-tropical beach resort and all the snow is manufactured. In it’s own way that’s the perfect metaphor for the Potempkin Village that is the XXII Winter Olympiad.
It’s long been known that the International Olympic Committee is the most corrupt governing body in sports, eclipsing Bernie Ecclestone, FIFA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, and the World Wrestling Federation aggregated in a package. Indeed this 18 day spectacle will cost more than all the previous Games put together, $51 BILLION, most of which is going into the pockets of Putin’s toadies, sycophants, and cronies because it sure isn’t going into the half finished hotels and venues or the stinky yellow water or the two toilet ‘lover’s stall’ bathrooms.
Then of course there’s the Phineas and Ferb edge-of-insanity, kiss-your-butt-goodbye, gravity’s-a-stone-cold-sucker nightmare rail skate track obstacle course of doom athletic safety issues that have competitors standing at the top of the hill debating whether a shot at what is basically just another Gold Medal that will gather dust in your trophy case until you blow it off to show your Grandkids (assuming you live that long) is worth a career and endorsement ending injury, and some are already saying- no.
There is the threat of terrorism delivered by the #1 sponsor of State terrorism, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar “Bush”, who’s pissed off that because John Kerry’s an idiot who should never have been let near the State Department stupidly told the truth instead of lying the way the House of Saud instructed him and his boss Barack to and has made it impossible (so far) for Saudi backed Al-Queda elements to take over the Syrian government and maintain Saudi (and Wahabi Sunni) dominance in the oil trade under increasing pressure from Shia Iran to be the “swing” producer who can cover shortfalls in periods of high demand and dial back production to jack up the prices when necessary. That’s why it’s soooo important we bomb, bomb, bomb Iran too.
Oh, and for the record I think Mohammed’s nephew had at least as good a claim to be his spiritual heir as any of the regional warlords they called Caliphs, not that as an atheist I believe in anything except the historical (but non-Western) record of 600 or so C.E.
Anyway, this threat has led Budwieser (Budwieser!) to scale back it’s sponsorship (though they’re contractually obligated for some things) and keep it’s executives away from Sochi where they had expected to do the usual round of boozing and schmoozing favored and potential clients. Coca Cola on the other hand has no problem with private security guards prominently sporting the ‘Coke’ logo while they beat up protesters for LGBT rights and turn them over to the real cops for a nice Siberian vacation in the Gulag.
And let me state once again for the record that I think Mr. “Perky Nipples” Putin has some issues with his own fantasies. Big game hunting? Treasure diving? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s damn hypocritical which is I suppose the best you can say about a Lt. Colonel in the KGB who spent 16 years torturing and murdering people as a profession.
They are also killing dogs.
You may ask yourself, and I have, why I’ll be covering this at all. My only answer does me no credit, which is that at the Olympics, every 4 years, you get to see some sports that you never see anyplace else. For me it’s Curling and Women’s Hockey, you might be into Figure Skating or Biathalon. Women’s Ski Jumping is making its debut and I’m looking forward to that, there are several technical reasons Women might (in time) come to dominate Ski Jumping just as they dominate long distance swimming today.
Here’s how it will work- every day at about 6 pm I’ll put up the schedule for the next 24 hours. This will be at some disconnect with actual events because NBC is broadcasting most things on an at least 11 hour time delayed basis so if you have an ignorant friend you want to sucker into a bet you can play the ‘Wire’ scam from The Sting.
I’ll try to include some suggested alternatives if you are boycotting. I respect your convictions.
Events of interest that deserve live blogging will be live blogged. If you’re following something and don’t wish to diary yourself, well, that’s what the comments section is for.
Tonight is fairly simple, Opening Ceremony (broadcast) is scheduled for tomorrow. This evening we have footage of some sports that start early because of the short schedule of the Games.
8 pm NBC Figure Skating, Snowboarding, Freestyle Skiing
From Sochi, Russia. Figure skating team events: men’s short program, pairs’ short program; snowboarding: men’s and women’s slopestyle; freestyle skiing: women’s moguls.
(Slopestyle == Phineas and Ferb edge-of-insanity, kiss-your-butt-goodbye, gravity’s-a-stone-cold-sucker nightmare rail skate track obstacle course of doom)
Repeats at 1:30 am and 3 am.