Saying that the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a disaster is nothing new. People have been saying it would be a disaster since before it started. But I’m going to go on record and say it was the “Worst Olympics Ever.” That includes Olympic games held in Nazi Germany and any future Olympic games that may be held in North Korea. The 2014 games were a testament to ineptitude, a political device meant to showcase the glory of Russia to the world, but came across instead as a vanity project for President Vladimir Putin’s massive ego.
Here’s a list of reasons why this was the worst Olympics ever:
1.) Stop the gays – OK, this is an obvious one, so I thought I’d get it out of the way first. Russia has been no friend to homosexuals, as Putrin has enacted numerous bits of legislation under the guise of “traditional family values” which are nothing more than laws targeting the country’s homosexual population. The sad part is that the U.S. Republican party does pretty much the same thing when railing against gays in America. Traditional Family Values include one man marrying one woman, and each being miserably depressed, never divorcing, and being involved in alcoholism and extra-marital affairs. You know, good old fashioned American values. I suppose Russia has more in common with the U.S. than we realize. In any case, Russia seems mired in the past, enacting outdated legislation and systematically targeting a minority demographic. The rest of the world is slowly moving forward, but Russian seems hellbent on going backward.
2.) Kill the dogs – Sochi has a problem with stray dogs. There are so many that dog kill squads have been ordered to wipe out the masterless mongrels. It’s pretty fucking sad that they would rather kill dogs than attempt to adopt them to families. I’m a realist, I know that not all of these dogs would be able to find homes and many of them would be put down in shelters. But for fuck’s sake, at least give them a chance before murdering them. Some reporters have lamented becoming somewhat attached to friendly strays, only to notice after a few days they are nowhere to be found. If Putin hates dogs this much and hates gays this much, I wonder how much he must hate gay dogs? Maybe he was raped by a gay dog as a child? His anger must come from somewhere.
3.) Pussy Riot released and arrested again – Pussy Riot, a Russian protest band, was arrested in 2012 for speaking out against Putin. After 2 years in jail, they were released on the eve of the Olympics as a sign of good will to the rest of the world. You’d think these girls would be grateful to Lord Putin for benevolently releasing them. Well, fuck all that shit, because those bitches are up to their old tricks again. After protesting again, they were arrested again, but not before receiving a proper beating from security. Apparently, they have already been released. But you know that if this occurred after the Olympics had ended, they would be rotting in a jail cell for a long time.
4.) Sochi wasn’t ready – Another often reported story was how the facilities at Sochi (most prominently the hotels) were not ready for the masses who descended upon the city. If you search the Internet, you’ll find a million hilarious and bizarre photos of the inept hotel facilities. There are toilets next to each other without any dividers, there are signs asking not to flush toilet paper (yeah, I’m sure the diarrhea-smeared paper sitting in the trash can smells great), some rooms don’t have light bulbs (someone bartered light bulbs for other items), some rooms don’t have door handles (an Olympian had to smash his way out of his room to get to his event on time), and some rooms don’t even have electricity. The Sochi hotel situation is a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Two days before the games started, NPR interviewed a Russian contractor about his thoughts on the hotels not being ready. He seemed quite nonchalant in his reponse that the facilities weren’t complete, but the were “ready.” If that isn’t the most half-assed answer ever, I don’t know what is. The work they did was half-assed, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.
5.) It was barely winter – Russia seems like the perfect place to host the winter Olympics, what with it being home to Siberia and all other manner of fucking cold areas. But Lord Putin decided to hold the games in a summer resort town. There are literally palm trees in the city of Sochi. Nothing screams winter like palm trees, right? Temperatures have been in the mid-50s (Farenheit), the sportscasters didn’t wear jackets, some of the Olympians shed their winter gear for complaints of being too hot, and the snow melted and turned into slush. With it being too warm, the snow melted, the nature of the events was altered, and nobody could do as well as they had hoped. They certainly didn’t train in slush. Why would they? Who would expect that obstacle? Great job, Putin. Couldn’t he have put the games farther north? No, he couldn’t, because he wanted to show off his cosmopolitan resort town to the world, and unwittingly fucked up the games in the process.
6.) Bob Costas’ eye infection – Costas lamentably got “pinkeye” upon his arrival to Russia. He’s hosted every Olympics stretching all the way back to the ancient Greek games, so his presence on U.S. TV is a must. Unfortunately, the eye infection got worse and it eventually spread to both eyes. Olympians didn’t want to talk to him due to concern about contagiousness. And to be frank, it was hard to look at him like that. He was ultimately replaced by Matt Lauer. I’m sure Costas was thrilled. Here he is, going to Russia, and he gets fucking pinkeye. To be fair, he could have gotten pinkeye in the U.S. or on the plane, but it’s easy to blame Russia, so let’s go ahead and blame them. Watching the Olympics without Costas is strange and a total letdown.
7.) Opening Ceremony – The Opening Ceremony was dreadful. It was the longest, most boring, most Russian opening ceremony of all time. It was easily 3 hours long, not including the part where the Olympians enter the stadium. It began with 5 snowflakes opening into the 5 Olympic rings. Unfortunately, one of them malfunctioned and didn’t open, leaving only 4 rings and 1 snowflake. Malfunctions are understandable, it happens. But I’m sure Putin didn’t see it that way. I’m sure he’s already executed whomever was in charge of that part of the ceremony. The rest of the ceremony was a history of Russia which conveniently left out Stalin, Communism, and centuries of genocide. After that, it was a miserable, boring slog of blue and gray colors set to lethargic music. I couldn’t even finish watching it. After the 3 hour mark I gave up. There was no need for it be that long.
8.) The food sucks – Russia isn’t exactly world-renown for its cuisine. It’s not surprising to hear that the food at the Sochi games has been terrible. Olympians have tweeted pictures of the questionable food choices they have. Spectators are less than thrilled with the sub-par food quality and exorbitant prices. A German volunteer at the games described the food as “only fit for prison.” That’s certainly a glowing endorsement, huh? A French tourist was asked what he thought about the food, and he replied, “We have to eat.” A hockey fan who stated he rarely eats McDonald’s in the U.S. has been eating almost exclusively at a Sochi McDonald’s as it at least has some level of quality. Wow! When McDonald’s is the standard for quality, you know the food situation must be dire. So, high prices and terrible food quality, just what you’d expect from a totalitarian regime. I wonder what they’re putting in the food, the dead dogs? Oh, and for some reason Lord Putin banned Chobani Yogurt from the Olympic games. Why? I guess because yogurt is gay.
9.) Bieber stays in the U.S. – There was a gentleman’s agreement between the U.S. and Canada stating that whichever country lost in their hockey matchups would have to keep Justin Bieber. (For those who don’t know, he’s Canadian born but lives in the U.S. and is a complete tool.) Well, Canada beat the U.S. in the men’s and women’s hockey games. Sadly, this means the U.S. will have to keep Bieber, and he’ll continue to drag race drunkenly across the streets of our country.
10.) Judging Controversy – It wouldn’t be the Olympics without controversial judging decisions. And the biggest offender is at it again, that’s right, Figure Skating. Figure Skating is like the Summer Olympics version of Gymnastics in that it is incredibly subjective, yet they try to score it based on technical points. It’s not an event like a race where the fastest time wins. Nope, it’s based on judges watching someone and subjectively tallying up objective points. It just doesn’t work, and it will always have controversy attached. This year was even worse because the judges were all anonymous. Suffice it to say, the Russians have dominated figure skating in the country of Russia. Gee, that seems a little convenient, huh? The women’s skating generated the most controversy when a Russian skater stumbled and still won the gold medal over a South Korean who skated perfectly. An American figure skater railed against the judging. She was upset that she got 7th place after skating flawlessly two consecutive times, while the 4th, 5th, and 6th place winners all prominently fell on the ice. The points system is completely opaque, nebulously includes “degree of difficulty”, and rewards technicality of jumps. What has happened is that the sport rewards people who jump high and spin fast over people who can skate gracefully or think of unique things to put into their routines. Anyway, my point is that the judging of this sport is completely fucked up. A sport with anonymous judges with obscure rules awarded the gold medal to the skater from the host country even though she skated worse than the second place winner. Ah, Russia, never change. On second thought, do change. Figure Skating needs to just embrace the fact it will always be a subjective sport, and go back to the 1-10 score card system with non-anonymous judges. They should at least be open about the fact the sport isn’t fair.
There you have it. The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics has got to the be the worst Olympics to date. It took place in a totalitarian regime, featured a shitload of political controversy, and Russia managed to disgust the world with its backwards policies, shitty infrastructure, and fear-mongering. What else can you expect when the games were nothing more than a vanity project for a dictator? While I love watching the winter games, this one will certainly stand out in my mind as one of the shittiest, and virtually all of the blame can be laid on Lord God Putin the Great.
I award the Sochi games the gold, silver, and bronze medals for ineptitude.