Sochi…

Russia’s attempt at the Olympics is here. In fact, some events started well before the official opening – would have been nice if that had been advertised better! My first hope is that English-speakers actually learn how to pronounce Sochi at some point (a hint: don’t over-stress the vowel sounds!). Some of the pre-Games dramas (packs of rabid dogs roaming the sporting locations, unfinished hotels etc.) are reminiscent of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, and everyone forgot about them almost immediately there.

It’s not the worst by far, but my current favourite “Sochi is a disaster before it even begins” picture is the woman painting the grass green:

woman painting the grass green in sochi russia 2014 olympic games

The Winter Games started on the 7th of February in 1998, too. I know this because it’s my birthday!

On a scary note, it’s looking like these Olympics are going to be a smokescreen for the situation in Ukraine. The Ukrainian president is meeting with Vladimir Putin TODAY – the day of the opening ceremony. In other words, Putin’s going to send more Russians in to attack the Ukrainian protestors while everyone is focused on Sochi.

I don’t know how Putin will find the time for the meeting, seeing as he’s still busy doing the He-Man thing for the cameras.

If the leaked opening ceremony pictures are anything to go by, there looks to be a bit of glorifying of the USSR that’s going to happen. That’ll be fun.

I’ve got to say, I’m rather fond of this gay rights poster:

Demonstrators Protest Against Russian Anti Gay Laws Outside Their Embassy

As for the Olympics, I share my name with a three-time Olympic figure skating champion, so I’ve always had an interest in the sport. I’ve been asked so many times whether my parents did it on purpose (the answer: NO).

Sonja Henie three-time Olympic Champion

There was 1994 champion Oksana Baiul who – frustratingly – is still called “Russian” even though she is Ukrainian, trained in Ukraine, represented Ukraine and had the Ukrainian flag and anthem on the podium!

1994 Olympic Champion Oksana Baiul of Ukraine

There’s Tara Lipinski, who won four years later, becoming the youngest ever champion.

Tara Lipinski 1998

There’s 2006 silver medallist Sasha Cohen, a Ukrainian-American who skated to the Ukrainian song Dark Eyes – and was credited (both her and the song) as being Russian.

Sasha Cohen ukrainian-american figure skater 2006

It’s never-ending and extremely frustrating how nobody can differentiate between one country, their nationality and their culture and achievements, and the other!

Ukraine Tryzub EU Flag Kyiv Protests

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