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joeclark (2)

No spring can follow past meridian

Figure skater Evgeni Plushenko (wiki) withdrew from the men's individual event at the Olympics in Sochi and announced his retirement from amateur skating (NYT) only days after winning gold in the team event. Plushenko has won medals at four Olympic Games* (2006 gold: Short Program, Free Skating; 2014 gold; 2002: SP, FS, 2010: SP, FS); he has won 17 gold, 8 silver and 2 bronze medals in major competitions in spite of a 2006-2008 hiatus and he holds 10 titles in the Russian Nationals in a career spanning over 17 years. He was famous not only for his technique, but also for his grace and showmanship. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Feb 14, 2014 - 42 comments

Just Like Figure Skating. Only Not Really.

Ski ballet. Ski ballet? Ski ballet!
posted by ZsigE on Feb 13, 2014 - 12 comments

You know who else liked Winter Olympics?

This amazing set of photographs reminds us that months before the famous 1936 summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics took place in Garmish-Partenkirchen in Bavaria. Today the ski resort is trying to just forget it ever happened, so please do not mention it.
posted by LarryC on Feb 12, 2014 - 46 comments

Sochi is the Florida of Russia

The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus “Sochi used to be much prettier... These days crooks from Moscow come here to build and sell skyscrapers and apartments, although it used to be such a small, lovely town." via The New York Review of Books article on "Why Sochi"
Putin explicitly links the Games to the humiliations of the recent past: “There is also a certain moral aspect here and there is no need to be ashamed of it,” he said. “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, after the dark and, let us be honest, bloody events in the Caucasus, the society had a negative and pessimistic attitude.” The Olympics, he explains, are a necessary part of an effort to “strengthen the morale of the nation.”

posted by spamandkimchi on Feb 6, 2014 - 89 comments

The Synchronized Bowel Movement Venue is ready

The media have begun to arrive in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which kick off this Friday. Aside from the typical local colour, journalists have flagged some, shall we say, idiosyncratic aspects of the facilities and accommodations. The quirk that has generated the most discussion? Well that would have to be the double-toilet stall, and the official PR response. Or it might be the hiring of a local company to kill stray dogs. Last minute dashes to the construction finish line are certainly nothing new for Olympic hosts. Perhaps this is just the Russian take on a time-honoured tradition. Previous coverage of the run-up to the Sochi Olympics here and here.
posted by dry white toast on Feb 4, 2014 - 158 comments

Wow, such bobsleigh.

The dogecoin subreddit have donated $30,000 to help the Jamaican bobsleigh team get to the Winter Olympics.
posted by Ned G on Jan 21, 2014 - 53 comments

Moms

Two very different commercials about mothers.
1. Old Spice "Momsong"
2. P&G "Pick Them Back Up"
Bring your tissues for that second one.
posted by Rock Steady on Jan 9, 2014 - 53 comments

Mr. Rick Wakeman on keyboards ... and various other concerns

Whether taking all mankind close to the edge with his keyboard contributions to every punk's favorite prog-rock band Yes, or going it solo (in fully sequined gown) with all Six Wives of Henry VIII all the way to the center of the earth, or perhaps with figure skating Knights of the Round Table, or composing the score for Ken Russell's Liztomania (and "acting" in it), or doing definitive session work for the likes of David Bowie, Black Sabbath, etc, or candidly singing the praises of Christianity and/or Freemasonry ... [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Dec 21, 2013 - 34 comments

Olympic Pants Wars

At first, it seemed the Azeris would win the Olympic Pants War handily, but then Norway, with its argyle advantage (in crazy and crazier varieties), seemed to have taken the lead. Now, US snowboard cross racer Nate Holland (competing, of course, in this wonderful outfit) is stepping in to set the pants rules for his own sport. But in the end, no matter what country they're competing for, it's the figure skaters who have won. As history has shown us, they always have the best pants of them all.
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 19, 2010 - 73 comments

Nude hockey player cast in bronze for Vancouver Winter Olympics

Hot nude bronze gay hockey action. Do you associate the Winter Olympics with middle-aged curlers in warm-up jackets, Lycra-clad former linebackers sardined into a bobsled, and sparkly figure skaters’ outfits (and whatever the girls are wearing)? Oh, you’re so last century! For Vancouver 2010, the Olympics’ first-ever Pride House for gay athletes will feature a bronze sculpture (by Edmund Haakonson) of a hockey player. It’s a dude, and he’s naked save for skates, helmet, and gloves. Of course he’s carrying a big stick.
posted by joeclark on Jan 6, 2010 - 44 comments

Piloting a bobsleigh while blind

You’d have to be blind to drive a bobsleigh. At least if you want to finish first, second, or third nine times in seven years. Since 2001, U.S. bobsleigh pilot Steven Holcomb has dealt with a degenerative eye condition that left him with 20/500 vision. He drove a sled hurtling down an ice track anyway, often winning. Now that his vision has been restored via an experimental operation, he fuzzes over his helmet visor so it’s just like the olden days. Bobsleigh, it seems, is all about feel. [more inside]
posted by joeclark on Nov 15, 2009 - 3 comments

Olympics on Hoth

Hoth is making a bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Featuring sports like the two-man snowspeeder race, the creator of the effort claims to be protesting the lack of American interest in the Winter Games. Need more Star Wars meets sports info? (And yes, you do.) Howabout a quiz on the sports of Star Wars, or various Star Wars characters hosting SportsCenter. [Note that the main link sometimes loads slowly. Some sites feature the Star Wars theme.]
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 9, 2006 - 8 comments

Spyware Millionaire Wins Gold For Australia

Dale Begg-Smith is being called the "golden boy of the slopes" by the Australian media after winning gold in the Turin Winter Games. However, when asked about his business, which has reportedly earned him millions of dollars and enabled him to buy a Lamborghini, Begg-Smith became "..vague about its nature." "It's complicated," he said. "We make the technology for companies to monitor their online advertising campaigns." What is emerging now is that Begg-Smith's companies, AdsCPM and CPM Media, are linked to home page hijacking, spyware, porn redirectors, and other unsavory internet practices. A quick WHOIS of AdsCPM.com reveals that the same IP address is shared with porn domain names and websites that are notorious for distributing spyware. Bloggers using the Wayback machine have turned up similar information. Is he a willing spyware merchant who has now reluctantly been bought to our attention, or a legitimate internet entrepreneur?
posted by davem on Feb 17, 2006 - 39 comments

They might give birth in mid-air

Ski Jumping - the only Olympic discipline to ban women. [thanks occhiblu]
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome on Feb 11, 2006 - 35 comments

Will this spoil the party in Canada ?

Will this spoil the party in Canada ? (NYT reg req) Great victories by the men and the women. Sure. But then one is reminded again in the NYT today about last week's controversy - "The judge, Marie Reine Le Gougne, said the pressure she felt was unlike any in her 14 years of judging, that it intensified as the Olympics drew near and that it came from one country, Canada" You cant help but wonder.
posted by Voyageman on Feb 24, 2002 - 26 comments

Russians Challenging Hughes Skating Gold

Russians Challenging Hughes Skating Gold Russian Olympic officials lodged an official protest, demanding that Olympic Silver Medalist Irina Slutskaya be awarded a gold medal, accusing the ladies figure skating judges of being biased against the russian skater. This is the biggest batch of sour grapes I have ever seen in sports.
posted by Lanternjmk on Feb 22, 2002 - 45 comments

What if they threw a Winter Olympics and nobody came?

What if they threw a Winter Olympics and nobody came?... because they felt it was too cold? The Dutch Olympic team had a hard time finding someone to carry their flag, the winter "athletes" complained it was too cold to bother with.
posted by tsarfan on Feb 10, 2002 - 30 comments

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