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An Olympic Update: The Great, The Gross, and the Weird

Well, the Winter Olympics have been in full swing for five days (or is it four? five with the time zone difference? six? somebody ask a Time Lord to sort this out for us) and it’s about time somebody over there did something impressive, or awkward, or threw some serious shade on their own television network.

For example, Stephen Amell, star of the CW’s Arrow, who in this message on his Facebook page on Thursday, seems pretty annoyed that the CW is yielding to NBC’s Olympics dominance:

For everyone asking, we’re taking a mini hiatus so people can grit their teeth and suffer through an Olympic games marred by homophobia and mediocre levels of public interest. Back February 26th… Follow up point — Good luck to all the athletes who have worked so hard for so many years and essentially geared their entire life around this opportunity. Hopefully, a lot of them will use their success and a public platform to remind everybody this isn’t the stone age.

We hope so too.

Only a few days into the competition we can point out some impressive victories for female athletes: snowboarder Jamie Anderson has earned the very first Gold medal in the women’s Slopestyle snowboarding competition. You can watch a bit of .gif-fage of the run that pushed her from 5th to 1st place here.

Last week we told you that you might want to listen for news of the three Dufour-Lapointe sisters, who stood a chance of being the only female siblings to sweep all three spots on the Olympic podium in a single event. They didn’t quite manage it, but instead grabbed both the Gold and Silver medals for Canada in Freestyle Moguls, which is pretty impressive in and of itself.

But maybe you’re looking less for news of athletic achievement and more for news of internet achievement. In that case, you might appreciate this explanation of the newest viral female athlete face since McKayla Maroney‘s “Not Impressed” expression made it all the way to the white house. Ashley Wagner‘s shocked and angry reaction upon finishing just shy of the podium is already being photoshopped next to screenshots of the Red Wedding.

The opening ceremonies also had their ups and downs. Good idea: letting Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, carry the olympic torch. Obviously, should have thought about this beforehand, bad, bad idea: NBC editing the International Olympic Committee president’s speech to completely and awkwardly omit an emphatic statement supporting diversity, equality, and acceptance in the Olympics. NBC, everybody is already watching to see if you’ve got the cojones to contrast Russia’s seriously escalating human rights abuses with your cash cow coverage of the Olympics, and this wasn’t the way to start on the right foot. Take a clue from Canada:

And speaking of the sexualized male form and America’s hat, Canadian bobsledder Justin Kripps noticed that his personal website had been blocked from access within Russia by government order. It appears that it was done because he’s got several pictures of the, and I say this as objective fact, completely ripped Canadian men’s bobsled team wearing only their impressive beards and underwear at a weigh in. Ironic, when you consider the coverage of Russia’s own female Olympians.

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  • Shhhh

    Yikes, that was a nail biter between the Canadian and Finnish women’s hockey teams this morning. Noora Raty is putting on a great show so far.

  • Gerald Kirby

    It was a pretty intense game, but I think the Finnish team may have started to gas out or something in the third period. If they had played the final like they had the first two, we would have gotten away with only a 1-0 victory. Speaking of, did you see the Sweden-Japan game? Wow, those Japanese women might be small, but are they every fast and tenacious!

  • Shhhh

    I was impressed that Finland skated tough against Canada for as long as they did, as well as keeping up with their physicality. I haven’t seen the Sweden-Japan game yet, I’ll have to check it out.

  • Anonymous

    Enjoy it while you can. Sweden FTW!

  • Alex Young
    I feel folk will appreciate this. It was originally on The Last Leg tv programme.

  • locuas

    wasn’t the law agains “public” propaganda? i mean, i do not approve of the decision of punishing people for talking about homosexuality, but to go and try to block those sites seems a little bit extreme.

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, blocking shirtless bobsledders is probably the *least* extreme anti-gay action from Russia in the past year.

  • Marie

    Am I the only one who thinks that comment by Amell was inappropriate? Seema pretty disrespectful to the athletes.

  • Alias Jones

    Wait… people actually watch the Winter Olympics?

  • Troy Lenze

    Curling is a winter Olympic sport. Therefore, I watch the Winter Olypmics. :)

  • Alias Jones
  • Troy Lenze

    While there is certainly a dearth of black Olympians, I have seen a black speed skater (USA) and a black figure skater (FRA). We have black bobsledders (USA) as well. Maybe things are getting better?

  • Alias Jones

    I mostly used that clip A) for hilarity’s sake and B) for the mentioned fact that there weren’t any Winter sports in ancient Greece. Race aside, the Winter Olympics are nothing more than the IOC grabbing cash every 2 years instead of every 4, and receiving expensive bribes constantly.

  • Alias Jones

    What’s more is that, and I feel comfortable in saying that most Americans find the majority of Winter Olympic sports as exciting as watching elderly flies fornicate on drying paint.

  • Troy Lenze

    Which is funny, because they’re about the only sports I like to watch. I never claimed to be a normal sports-bro, though.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen three black figure skaters at least this year (the skater for the women’s short program on the French team; the women in the French pairs today; and the guy in the German pair who are currently in silver-medal position and did a fantastic routine today). Canada had two black bobsledders win medals in Vancouver (Shelley-Ann Brown and Lascelles Brown; Lascelles also won a bobsled medal in Turin). And there’s also PK Subban on the Canadian olympic men’s hockey team this year, and Jarome Iginla on the Canadian olympic men’s hockey team in Vancouver. That’s just the ones I can name off the top of my head.