Goodbye, Sochi: Olympics GIF Wrap Up

Well folks, the 2014 Olympics have come and gone incredibly fast, just like Shaun White’s hopes of making history and winning another medal (too soon?). We’ve seen the highest of highs, the lowest of lows. The underdog stories and the stories of world champs falling from grace.

So how could we possibly sum up everything that’s happened in two weeks? With GIFs of course! Here are some of the best moments from the Sochi Winter Olympics in animated form. Hopefully this will tide all of us over until the Summer Games in Rio in 2016…

Remember the opening ceremony? I bet whoever was in charge of these olympic rings will never forget this for the rest of his/her life.

Poor Bob Costas. The man who helms the Olympics for NBC was down with pinkeye. Well, make that pinkeyes because it spread from one to the other and he had to sit out on like three nights of primetime coverage. But he eventually got better, and we got this gif out of it.

I was watching this live, when a man climbed a tree to meet U.S. Men’s Alpine head coach Sash Rearick, who was hanging out in some branches Katniss style to get a better view of the course. And an NBC correspondent had to get a interview, because, ratings.

There were 14 new programs introduced this year, including this one, slopestyle snowboarding. This is American Jamie Anderson who won us a gold medal and taught us about Tinder in Olympic village (but hardcore Olympic fans already know that the village is a hookup hotspot)

And one of the first viral gifs out of this year’s Olympics is courtesy of U.S. luger Kate Hansen. She was spotted rockin out with her headphones in right before she sped down the icy ramp.

When asked who she was listening to, clearly, it was none other than Queen Beyonce.

Another American who went viral – figure skater Ashley Wagner. Clearly disappointed with her low score, she forgot that cameras were on her and also forgot that the internet thrives on reactions like this.

This is probs my favorite. This is a real pic from American bobsledder Johnny Quinn, who got locked in his Sochi hotel bathroom. To escape, he used his bobsled (and NFL training) to break through the door like the Kool-Aid man. The best part – he got stuck in an elevator a few days later.

And then there was Russia’s Yulia Lipnitskaya. A 15 year old who stunned everyone in the free skate during the team competition, helping them earn a gold medal, and made her the youngest Russian winter olympics gold medal winner. But really, that spin tho.

The biathlon/any cross country skiing seemed to be the absolute worst sport this year. People were literally collapsing at the finish line. Hilarious but, you know, not.

The weather in Sochi was a big problem this year. One day it would be foggy and cold, the next 60 degrees. Literally warmer than on the east coast and its polar vortex. This didn’t help the snow conditions, and athletes were having problems with the icy/hard/slush terrain. But the Russians did their best to keep up appearances.

The halfpipe wasn’t kind to Shaun White either. He was hoping for his third gold medal in a row, but to no avail. wah wah.

This is Gus Kenworthy, silver medal winner in slopestyle skiing. But who cares about the medal. He made friends with the stray puppies who the Russians were allegedly killing off, but Gus did this and wanted to take them back home to the U.S. with him. I mean can you even.

Not to mention when Gus won his medal, he was part of a U.S. podium sweep with Joss Christensen (gold) and Nick Goepper (bronze).

This is American slopestyle snowboarder Sage Kotsenberg. He is doing a trick called the ‘Holy Crail’, which is obviously very difficult, but has a stupid name. He also credited ‘mad snacks’ and Fight Club for helping him focus before winning the gold. Clearly there’s no doubt he’s a snowboarder.

The Dutch have always dominated speed skating, but more so this year. 23 speedskating medals. 8 gold. They’ve won at least one medal in every single speedskating category. Basically it was a lot of orange on the podium in the speed skating center.

There was a rare tie for gold in women’s downhill skiiing, between Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin. But more importantly, Tina Maze is a pop star, model and all around A-lister back home in Slovenia.

And then there was the couples’ ice skating. Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov brought the house down when they won gold. And also cast Angela Kinsey as Tatiana in her (eventual) made for TV movie.

I just included this U.S. skating pair of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir (who obviously didn’t medal) because Simon and I apparently went to the same college. Go Lions!

This Swedish skiier, Henrik Harlaut, actually has dreads and XXXXL pants, and it’s really not surprising that he fell. Because COME ON.

Skeleton is probably the most badass sport, and Canada’s Sarah Reid has the best helmet to go down the ice giant ice slide.

Oh Evgeni Plushenko. The star men’s skater for Russia for… forever. He’s one of the country’s most beloved athletes, and won the gold in 2006. And even though he skating perfectly for the team competition and helped Russia earn the gold, by the time it got to his solo comp, his recurring back problem flared up and he decided to quit.

See- his back? He’s had surgery before, okay? We needed to see it to believe it. Anyways, he not only withdrew from the Olympics, but he announced it would be his last competition ever and officially retired.

Ah Jeremy Abbott. He fell, hit the boards, and stayed on the ice for a good 15 seconds. BUT THEN he got his ass back up and finished the routine. That’s the Olympic spirit, folks.

Meet rising star, American ice skater Jason Brown. Also the gayest of gays since Johnny Weir, and it’s a welcome addition. Also, this quote during the his program from one of the commentators: “He doesn’t have a quad turn, but he does have a ponytail that has its own Twitter account.”

And… this is Spain’s Javier Fernandez. Do with it what you will.

Women’s snowboardcross was an awesome competition to watch, as it was anyone’s game. In this GIF, the woman ahead is American Lindsey Jacobellis, who is a silver medalist from ’06, and favored to win again in Sochi after a failed attempt in Vancouver. Except she was so ahead in this race when one little slip up made her fall and her dreams to get another medal were dashed yet again.

If you’re wondering how Cool Runnings 2014 did (2-man bobsled of Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon), the Jamaicans literally placed last. Not a good trip for these guys.

But at least they got this catchy tune out of it.

Bode Gate: 2K14. Alpine Skiier Bode Miller, another veteran of the games, won a bronze medal in what is probably his last Olympics. Post his winning race, he spoke with a NBC correspondent about what the moment ment to him – especially since he dedicated it to his younger brother who died months before. He broke down and the reporter got a lot of heat for it, but Bode defended her. All’s good, he has his bronze medal, and NBC got its ratings scandal.

Belarus’s Anton Kushnir won the gold with this, and I’m just impressed anyone can physically fly that high and land and not die.

Guys, my new obsession is ice dancing. IDK why I never really paid attention to it before, maybe it was the whole Canada/USA rivalry this year, but it is fantastic. Speaking as a fan of dancing/former dancer, this is right up my alley. I introduce you to the ‘Shib Sibs’ aka Maia and Alex Shibutani, siblings who ice dance together, particularly to a Michael Jackson in this gif.

I think I’m starting to be obsessed with Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Like almost shipping them. Ugh, but they’re just so damn good. LOOK AT THESE TWIZZLES!

AND THE LIFTS!

And the Canadian flag that turned out to be a poncho! Virtue and Moir weren’t able to get their second gold medal in a row and were bumped to silver, But hey, they have each other.

Of course, the folks who won were American darlings/Disney characters Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

And then Mary Carillo’s documentary about Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan’s ’94 debacle aired before the closing ceremony on Sunday, and Tonya Harding looks just as guilty as she did 20 years ago. Like I said on Twitter, “2014 Tonya Harding is like the mini-van mom in suburban detroit who got caught shoplifting at her local k-mart.”

Remember that fog and bad weather I was talking about before? Yeah, this was it. Right before this Olympian was about to ski down a mountain.

IDK if the fog effected Austria’s Kathrin Zettel, but either way, she ran into a pole and the flag covered her face. Then it moved down to her waist and was on her person for like 5 more slaloms. Oops.

So you know what’s even more impressive than being an Olympic athlete? Being an Olympic athlete in both the summer and the winter games. Remember Lolo Jones from track and field/hurdles? Yeah, she’s become a bobsledder. But didn’t win a medal here either.

Curling, guys. Curling. Still don’t get it, but good to know suburban high school history teachers can get in on the action.

NBC, always explaining sports to the viewers in layman’s terms, which I appreciate. Basically gold medalist Ted Ligety has super impressive almost unhuman-like angles when he skis down a mountain, and that’s why he deserves all the awards.

I have no idea what’s going on here, but this is amazing.

Andreas Nodl of Austria slammed Norway’s Jonas Holos into the boards and legit shattered a pane of glass. This is why I can’t with hockey.

Can you say sob fest?? This heart on the half pipe was in honor of women’s freestyle skiier Canadian Sarah Burke, who died in 2012 due to injuries sustained during practice. She was considered a pioneer in the sport and helped bring freestyle skiing to the winter olympics. Her ashes were spread on the halfpipe in Sochi. {x}

Talk about a photo finish – the men’s ski-cross QUARTERFINALS (aka not even the big medal run) included a huge crash at the end between Russia’s Egor Korotkov, Sweden’s Victor Norberg and Finland’s Jouni Pellinen. As you can see, there is one clear frontrunner, Switzerland’s Armin Niederer, but second place (the only other person advancing to the next round) was a three way tie. The Russian eked out from the other two – because he flailed his arm across the finish line first.

And the so-called ‘crown-jewel- of the winter olympics, women’s figure skating came to a head. That 15-year-old Russian spin girl did the impossible – she fell. Oops. No medal for her.

Ashley Wagner, still not pleased with her results, but at least she’s more aware of her surroundings this time.

And the final standings: she came in sixth. “Not bad!”

Gracie Gold, America’s hope for, well, gold, didn’t exactly live up to her namesake. Fourth would have to do.

‘Queen’ Yuna Kim, the reigning champ from Korea, as beautiful as she skated, she just couldn’t hold on to her title. But really, she is so good, it’s upsetting.

And I think Katy Perry said it best, but 17-year-old Russian skater Adelina Sotnikova came in like a Dark Horse. Pre-Yulia dominating during the team competition, Adelina was an expected frontrunner. But Yulia took the spotlight and all the pressure that goes with winning a medal for your country IN the host country, and Adelina was like don’t forget about me bitches. This girl took home the gold and Yulia is busy listening to One Direction and already focused on South Korea 2018.

Can we talk about these two? Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir served as figure skating correspondents (obvs), but their outfits and clear BFF-ness needs to be put on a reality show or something. Or he can just have her on his show all the time.

This is the worst GIF, but after my boy and the ‘next-Apolo Anton Ohno’ failed to win anything on his own, he finally got a silver medal in the relay with the other boys in short track. Gold in 2018, my friend.

Closing Ceremony: In which Russia proved they actually have a sense of humor. Well fucking played.

So here’s the thing. This bear was one of the Olympic mascots – but in America, we didn’t know that because they never introduced them on NBC. So when this dude showed up at the closing ceremony, I bet a lot of people were confused and concerned they had taken drugs at some point during the night. Anyways, he’s been nicknamed “Nightmare Bear” because he’s so GD scary and looks stoned all the time. But here, he’s just expressing what a lot of us Olympics devotees are feeling right now – withdrawal that the games are actually over.

And there you have it folks. 17 days of elite competition in Sochi are now over. Until Rio in 2016, Vlad Poots thank you for your attention and time. As the Russians say, “Spasibo!”

Mid-Olympics Round Up: Bring Out The Tissues

We’re a little more than halfway through the 2014 Winter Olympics, so let’s check in on what’s happened so far. Obviously we can’t report on everything, but one of the main reasons I love the Olympics is that it is the one event in the world that gives everyone the opportunity to come together in one place and compete in the spirit of the common passion of sports. It’s a reminder that even if your home country is at political odds with another, at the core, we’re all humans, who have common goals, common dreams, common passion to be the best we can be.

So in saying that, I love hearing the stories behind the athletes – where they came from, how they got to where they are today, and most importantly anyone who’s embodied the Olympic spirit. Here are some of my favorites from the Games so far.

The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development  of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity

– Olympic Charter {x}

Paying it Forward: An American, A Canadian and a Russian

Russian cross country skiier Anton Gafarov had multiple – multiple – crashes on his skis during the semifinals, but decided to keep going on a broken ski despite the fact he had no chances of winning. On his last fall, his ski was literally in bits, but a man came running out with a new ski, took off the tattered one, replaced it with a fully functioning ski and the Russian went on his way. 

The catch: it wasn’t a member of Team Russia that helped him out, it was former American Olympian-turned-Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth who lent a hand. Justin’s wife, Canadian Beckie Scott, is also a skiier, and during the 2006 Games in Torino, Beckie’s relay partner Sara Renner was in a similar situation to Gafarov. She snapped her ski pole and was struggling to finish the race, until Norwegian coach Bjornar Haakensmoen came out and lent her a ski pole. Sara ended up taking home the silver, while the Norwegian skiiers took fourth.

What did Justin have to say about his act of kindness? “I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line.” Pay it forward indeed.

Sister, Sister: Tracy  & Lanny Barnes

Tracy Barnes overcame a feat many athletes strive to do, which is qualify to represent your country in the Olympics. She did so during the trials, but ultimately decided to give up her spot – to her twin sister Lanny.

Lanny came down with the flu during the Olympic trials, causing her to miss out on her chance to compete in Sochi. But after a lot of convincing, Lanny finally took Tracy up on her offer to take her spot in the Winter Games, just a month before heading to Russia. Tracy wasn’t even planning on attending the games, but her sponsor, Advanced International Technology, bought the plane ticket and Tracy was able to cheer Lanny on every step of the way. With a story of compassion like this, it doesn’t even matter she placed 64th.

Screenshot 2014-02-17 23.47.19

Flip Pride: Michael Christian Martinez

It’s fair to say the Philippines doesn’t have a large contingent representing them in the Winter Games. In fact, this year there is one man reppin the country of my people, and he is 17-year-old figure skater Michael Christian Martinez, and the first person from a southeast Asian country to rep in figure skating.

Michael grew up practicing in an indoor ice rink in one of Manila’s malls, essentially teaching himself how to skate by watching YouTube videos of Patrick Chan, a fellow Olympian and star Canadian figure skater, and Michael eventually won a spot to compete in the Olympics.

But in case you didn’t know, being a professional athlete can be expensive. His family was running low on funds – they even put a mortgage on their house in order to pay for his training, and after the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan last year, sending a kid to Russia for the Olympics wasn’t the first priority on the government’s ‘To Do’ list. That’s when the IOC (International Olympic Committee) stepped in and provided funds through its Solidarity program, which provides aid to athletes who need financial assistance to go to the Games.

Michael made his way to Sochi and during the practice rounds, he got a little help from his idol, Patrick Chan, who decided to take him under his wing and give him a few pointers. Thanks to Michael’s perseverance, faith and hard work, he managed to place 19th in the qualifying rounds. That means he is in the top 24 – making him eligible to compete for a medal on Friday. One thing for sure is that no matter what the end result is, he’s going home a winner.

Dust Yourself Off And Try Again: Jeremy Abbott

One of the most admirable things about Olympians and athletes in general is that they’re stubbornly unflinching in their craft. In other words: they don’t give up. Clearly it takes years and non-stop training to get to a place like the Olympics, so it is absolutely necessary to have that drive which keeps you going.

And this was proven by figure skater Jeremy Abbott last Thursday during the men’s short program. The 28-year-old American was one of the favorites going into the competition, but on his very first jump (a quadruple toe loop-triple toe for those in the skating know), he landed horribly wrong, slamming his hip on the ice, and consequently bouncing into the boards. See this gif for all its agonizing glory:

Abbott was on the ice grabbing his hip and wincing in pain for a good 15 seconds and just as it looked like he was about to have the medics come over, he stunned the entire arena and got back on his feet and picked up his routine. The Russian crowd went wild, even clapping and cheering him on throughout the rest of his performance, and he flawlessly executed the rest of his jumps and spins and axels and sochows (sp?).

He finished 15th out of 29 skaters, but it was that camaraderie and support that everyone in the crowd gave him that will be unforgettable for years to come.

Cool Runnings: The Jamaican Bobsled Team

We all know the story (or at least seen the classic 1993 movie) about a group of men from Jamaica who make their unlikely debut in the Winter Olympics in the quest for gold. This year, two-man team Winston Watt and Marvin Dixon qualified for the Olympics, the first since 2002. However they did not have an easy time getting to Sochi.

First off, like Michael Christian Martinez, funds were low. They had to raise money just to get to Russia, so they turned to a crowdfunding website and raised more than $120,000 in just two days. And then once they got there – they couldn’t even train in the sliding center because of lost luggage. Winston and Marvin arrived in Sochi before all their sliding gear and were forced to miss out on their first practice runs.

Luckily, all their gear arrived, but not so luckily, the Jamaicans weren’t able to pull a Cool Runnings at the 2014 Olympics. They came in last place.

The Veteran: Bode Miller

Bode Miller isn’t a n00b to the Olympics. In fact, if you’ve been following the Olympics at all over the past 10 years, you know he’s one of the best in the sport. In fact, he’s the most decorated U.S. skier in Olympic history, with six career medals, including his latest in Sochi.

So here’s the low down on 36-year-old Bode. He won two silver medals in Salt Lake City (’02), went off the rails in Torino (’06) when he was favored to win, but failed to medal in any of his five events (and then went off on a weird tangent on partying and drinking, showing off douchebaggery galore and proving he’s the ‘bad boy of alpine skiing’). He returned to Vancouver in 2010 to win three medals, one in each color.

And that brings us to October 2012, when Bode married pro beach volleyball player Morgan Beck. Four months later in February 2013, his ex-girlfriend, Sara McKenna, gave birth to their son Samuel, his second child (because obviously he has another kid from a previous relationship). And then last April, his 29-year-old brother, Chelone, himself a Sochi Olympic hopeful in snowboard cross, died of an apparent seizure stemming from a previous accident.

And when Bode tied for third place in the Super G competition on Sunday, his bronze medal win proved to be extremely emotional. You may have seen that NBC Sports reporter Christin Cooper has taken a lot of heat for ‘pushing’ Bode to talk about his late brother, which brought him to tears. Both NBC and Bode have defended Christin, and to be honest, I have to agree. The interview was right after he won the medal and a lot of emotions were flying high, especially on his part, and she was just doing her job as a reporter.

Anyways, with everything Bode has gone through in the past decade, especially being the ‘bad boy’ of the sport, Sunday’s outpouring of emotion proved that again, he’s only human. Athletes and Olympians are just like us, and many of us can relate to have both the best AND the worst year of your life. Bode’s journey just happened to be projected on the world stage.

Live Blog: Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony

It’s finally here – the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games! As two Olympics-obsessed bloggers, we could not let the occasion go by without a live blog. Join us at 7:30 EST for what is promised to be a magical journey through 1000 years of Russian history, followed by athletic people walking in stupid national outfits.

This live blog will have everything you could possibly want, from Hunger Games analogies, to a Spot The Gay Propaganda contest, to fun facts about your favorite and not-so-favorite athletes — so do yourself a favor and come back tonight! And be sure to follow us on Twitter during the ceremonies – @cookiessangria – for all the snark and fangirling that we can fit into 140 or fewer characters.

PS: Keep refreshing this page every 5 to 10 minutes or so for live updates!

M: We open with shots of Russia, which looks so much warmer than it is here (in upstate NY). Suck it, Russia.

Highlights: those Russian dolls, ballerinas, VODKA, some sort of marmalade, snow, giant furry hats, soldiers goose-stepping… you know, the stuff you’d expect.

A voiceover informs us that “snow has become the (something) of the young.” I obviously missed a word there but I assume that it was something like “sworn enemy” or “thorn in the side,” if my experience is worth anything.

Who knows what the skater is who “skates like her name is her destiny?” If I skated like my name was my destiny, my name would have to be something like Always Falling or maybe Dolores. (Because Dolores means ‘pains.)

After that 7-minute intro, I feel like the kid in the theater when I went to see The Lion King in 1994, who asked “is it over?” at the end of the long-ass Circle Of Life Thing, when Rafiki lifted Simba up on pride rock.

Katie Couric is freezing. Bitch, you’re from New York. Wear a coat.

T: DID A WATCH COMMERCIAL ALMOST MAKE ME CRY? LIKE AN ACTUAL COMMERCIAL SELLING AN OMEGA WATCH. Ugh, the Olympics, I can’t.

M: They’re talking to Barack Obama! Aww Bummer. Billie Jean King isn’t there because her mom isn’t well, but they do bring up our favorite feature of the US Olympic tactic: our Coalition of our Finest Gay Athletes.
Speaking of which: gay athlete dream teams. Mine would definitely have Boitano and Billie Jean King, and I think I’m going to add Abby Wambach on there, definitely Jason Collins. Greg Louganis is gay, right?

T: Re: Pres Obama’s gay athletes speech, I’m just gonna leave this here.

Screenshot 2014-02-07 16.47.41

Also in Russia.

M: How many of those tiny American flag lapel pins do you think Obama has? Just one that he rotates a lot? Or is it like when they’d show Doug Funnie’s closet, and he has a whole drawer full of the same thing?

T: I’d like to imagine he’s akin to Doug Funnie.

“We like to smile once in a while” Barry O throwing slight shade at Russian politicians.

M: Vladimir Putin makes that Freshman Boy In The First Row Of The Football Picture face, probably. Because that’s the manliest face I can think of.

T: If you missed it last night, Bob Costas explained that he has an infection in his left eye, which is why he’s wearing his glasses.

In other news, this is why I love the internet:

M: We’re talking to Maria Sharapova, who evidently used to live in Sochi. She’s revisiting her childhood favorites, including the Sochi Circus. I call shenanigans. Nobody likes the circus. Particularly not this circus, which has horrible dancing clowns and bears. Amazing somebody who was exposed to such horrifying Soviet Circuses in their formative years would grow up to be so normal with such a cute sweaters.

Also: “I’m going to become a roly-poly!” is my new favorite exclamation while eating some crazy sort of dinner.

Google docs just asked if by “horrifying” I meant “terrifying.” I MEANT WHAT I MEANT GOOGLE.

M: Gracie Gold was just interviewed. She looks like a porcelain doll.

T: J.R. CELSKIIIIIIIIIII MY BOY!!!!! FILIPINO PRYDE Y’ALL!!!

OK, He’s like tooooo young, but still so cute!

M: Is he the one they just called the “new Apolo Anton Ohno?” Because our 15-year-old selves might have a thing or to to say about that. [Readers: we had weird crushes on AAO during the Salt Lake City games, during an era when we were probably supposed to be into Justin Guarini or Aaron Carter.]

T: Yes, Yes he is. I wouldn’t say our AAO crushes were ‘weird’ PER SE. But I will share this excerpt from my LIVEJOURNAL of a brief convo Molly & I had on AIM around the ‘02 Olympics/AAO Fever.

M: Hey, as long as what you’re sharing isn’t a photo of us in the early 2000s, playing MASH in study hall with AAO as the ‘husband,’ that’s cool.

OH HEYY now you can all go back in time and instant message me on AIM!

T: Also: NEVER FORGET. AAO 4EVER IN OUR HEARTS

M: Speak of the ANGEL, AAO is a correspondent. He looks remarkably smooth faced. Was that creepy of me? Whatever. The soul patch is still there, though. The only thing worse than that facial hair configuration is the fact that it’s called a ‘soul patch.’’

Photo Feb 07, 5 15 24 PM

ok this opening video with the creepy girl:

Old Russia wasn’t real big on beard conditioners I guess. That frizz.

Meanwhile in North America, children watch, like, Caillou and stuff.

BRILLIANT.

M: This little girl is a “fearless acrobat.” No shit. She is flying through the air. The competitions haven’t started yet, but I think I have my Olympic hero.

We’re still at the “volcano and a lone horse” part of Russia’s history” so I think we have a while to get to the Space Race and stuff.

And does anyone remember the London opening ceremony? It looked a lot like this, down to the life-sized rustic village.

“They waited for seven long years and this is what they’ve been waiting for this is where the olympics belong… This is what happens when youre this ambitious in a show like this.” THE SHADE MATT LAUER THE SHADE

M: Matt Lauer didn’t even TRY. Somebody’s still mad that he had to hide under his desk during nuclear bomb drills in grammar school. THANKS RUSSIA.

Also, these rings, even the ones that did open, look like those fake tattoo chokers/armbands that you could buy at The Icing or in vending machines in the early 2000s.

M Vladimir Putin looks a lot less manly when he’s wearing an overcoat and isn’t wrestling a rabid bear or whatever.

Is this the Russian national anthem? It’s been going on for like 10 minutes. I’ve been making up fake lyrics and singing along. Sample lyrics: “inside my staaacking dolls my vodka is theeere/ I drink it, I drink it, / I’m COLD!” Clearly I don’t remember much about Russia from all those Poli Sci courses.

T: Did that go on like a tad too long? Our National Anthem is like a minute long. that doll stacking song was approx 10. (okay, like 5)

M: Lauer just promised “Razmatazz”. Gay propaganda alert! By the way, we’ll be documenting instances of Gay Propaganda as they occur. Nice try, Russia. But congrats on all the Space you’ve been doing.

So, the athletes are entering in Cyrillic Alphabetical Order.

T: I’m loving this technology that makes it look like the athletes are coming out of their country from a projected map on the floor. HOWEVER, I feel like this is going to make the country intros very long…

M: I haven’t seen such a good use of a lit-up floor map since Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego.

T: What in the actual fuck are those lady volunteers holding the country names wearing? LADY GAGA??? GAY PROPAGANDA.

M: They’re obviously the Capitol residents of this Hunger Games.

Why hasn’t Andorra won an Olympic medal yet? Their knit woolens look so cozy and winter-y!

M: Let’s talk about all this techno for a second. I don’t think techno is a term any more. It’s like when old ladies call tv shows “programs” or “stories.” So this “house music,” whatever.

WAIT. Instead let’s talk about Bermuda’s bermuda shorts and knee socks. Brrrrr.

T: Is it embar that it didn’t occur to me until now that the country of Bermuda was the namesake/inspiration for BERMUDA SHORTS. Ugh.

M: Nope. Just occurred to me as well. Literally thought “why are they wearing Bavarian short pants?”

M: Hey, everyone. How’s your self-esteem? Pretty good? You feel like an okay, human-looking person? Well don’t look at the Brazil coalition, then. Damn Brazil. Their country’s main export is Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriends.

T: Oh Venezuelan flag holder is NOT kidding around and he is literally jumping around waving the flag. You do you, Venzeuela.

M: He’s like the Roberto Benigni of flag wavers.

Life IS Beautiful, y’all.

M: Germany. GAY PROPAGANDA. Their uniform is a rainbow.

T: And Meredith Veira REALLY wants you to know that. NOT gay propaganda (probs gay propaganda)

M: I realize I probably called Meredith Veira Katie Couric earlier. In my defense, white ladies all look the same.

T: “If you’re asking yourself, ‘Are there any athletes competing from Staten Island, New York?’

NO ONE WAS WONDERING THAT, MATT LAUER. NO ONE IS EVER WONDERING THAT.

M: Also Matt Lauer, I think that the Israel people can stand near the Iran people. We’re all grownups here, it’s not like Israel stole Iran’s prom date and now they’re both invited to a mutual friend’s Sweet 16.

IRELAND. Step up your game. It’s called the emerald isle, not the baby-poop-green isle.

T: Are we to assume all Spainards are in Gryffindor, per their uniforms?

M: Yes, Spaniards are automatically sorted into Gryffindor.

M: And is it just me, or is Russia trying its hardest to make its image be “country run entirely by Slytherins?” I know you’re not all like that, Russia. Let your Hufflepuff out.

M: Aww Canada. Look at your toggle coats and toques. Makes me want to get a double-double from Timmy Ho’s and watch a Leafs game. (Hi, I basically live in Canada).

T: Legit said, ‘WHOA’ outloud when I saw a sea of Canadians. Robin Sparkles would be so proud.

M: In case you missed it, there are three French-Canadian sisters competing in skiing (or something like that) and I’ve basically decided that they’re the Haim of winter sports.

M: Latvia = Hufflepuff. There we go.

T: All we need are the Ravenclaws.

M: Greece? But no. Their shade of blue isn’t studious enough.

I’m sure everyone watching has already noticed this, but there’s a crawl along the bottom of the screen that shows you what countries are coming up so you know whether you have time to go get a snack or use the bathroom. I just noticed it.

M: “It’s a good time to bring Apolo Ohno back in” —> First smart thing Matt Lauer has said all night.

M: Mexico’s flag guy is, among other things, a pop singer known as “Andy Himalaya.” THAT WAS A TRUE THING THEY JUST SAID. He hung out with Andy Warhol.

T: That’s like Hannah Montana shit right there. Or more like if Cher decided to compete in the Olympics in like… lip-syncing and woman who most looks like a drag queen competitions.

M: I just decided my Andy Himalaya/ Hannah Montana name is going to be Molly Malawi. Also I see what you did with the gay propaganda there.

T: The guy from Nepal admitted he’s going to place last in cross country skiing… That’s the spirit!

M: Fun fact: I help teach English to a class that’s like 50% people from Nepal. Not a ONE of them gives a shit about the Olympics. Glad it goes for the athletes from there as well.

T: No. NO. Why would you ever use Sia’s Breathe Me in a commercial? I IMMEDIATELY START CRYING WHEN I HEAR THAT SONG. Thanks, Six Feet Under.

M: I was going to ask if it was for Six Feet Under reasons or just because of like, life feelings. Glad you clarified. And I agree.

T: I thought the show itself was meh, but it’s all worth it for that last like 10 minutes. And by ‘worth it’ I mean, ‘an ending that will make you cry like you’ve never cried before and think about your life and life choices and question everything’, then yeah, worth it.

M: Considering I’m the kind of person who will wake up in the morning and my first, fleeting thought will be something like “one day, me and everyone I love will grow old, if we’re lucky, and eventually nobody will know we existed”… I do NOT need to watch or think about that montage ever again. Thank God we’re back to the athletes in silly costumes and the ladies dressed like church windows carrying the country signs.

T: Matt Lauer just described the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding controversy in ‘94 “colorful”. Well that’s one way to put it.

Update on the fail of Olympic proportions:

M: Who are those two people dressed as human snowballs doing the “push it” dance? Just randos? Okay.

Poland seems to have an 11-and-a-half year old competing, judging by her braces. Ugh, youth.

M: Slovakia’s flag guy is roughly 7 feet tall. Meanwhile, my grandmother was Slovak and I’m so small that a bus driver thought I was a middle school student the other day. Not fair, but  now I know which ancestors I can’t blame for my height issues.

T: Oh man I just got the chills. USA! USA! USA! I’m just gonna say it: Shaun White is hot now. The red carrot (or whatever the hell we were calling him in 2010) had the horrible hair but he looks sooo non-douchey now!

 M: You can order Gracie Gold for 3 monthly payments of 39.99 from the Ashton Drake collection.

I am SO BUMMED for the girl who broke her leg yesterday, but I’m glad she made it to walk with the team. See, this is the real reason I’m not usually a huge sports person. When they showed the losing team at the end of the Superbowl, I had tears in my eyes. Basically our collective cry count for these games is going to be off the charts.

M: Anyone know who the athlete is with the enviable, Ron Swanson-y mustache? Or the lady with the Zooey Deschanel bangs? Or the one with the dip-dyed Gay Propaganda rainbow hair? This all makes me love America so much.

M: Chinese Taipei (read: Taiwan)’s uniforms are those big jackets they give you when you go on The Maid Of The Mist in Niagara Falls

T: Matt Lauer Fun Fact #205: There is no word for ‘ski’ in the Timor dialect.

M: Ukraine’s uniform looks like camo for if you were trying to hide in a field of Vera Bradley bags.

Finland is also hoping to catch a glimpse of the falls on The Maid of the Mist. Fun Fact: The Canadian side is better.

T: Go Philippines! I totally missed how many Filipino athletes there are. It’s very Cool Runnings to see them at the winter games.

M: Do you have any idea what they’re competing in? A Cool Runnings thing is possible, but I could sort of see the Philippines having like figure skating prodigies.

T: No idea. Let’s say biathalon. Or like… winter table tennis. Not a real sport.

M: Not YET. They just said those dancing snowball vest people have been dancing nonstop for the past hour. They zeroed in on one guy who looked like Rory and Lorelai Gilmore at the end of that dance marathon. Rough gig.

Matt Lauer just told us that YOLO means “ you only live once.” Shut up, Lauer.

M: Jamaican Bobsled Team!! We love them so much. I just want to give them all a hug (mostly, that one guy near the front could basically do whatever) (I mean what?).

T: ^What she said. Every word.

Okay, I’m saying it now: I want to go to Tokyo, 2020. Maybe by then I’ll be (34 YEARS OLD HOLY SHIT) and have enough funds and time off to go to Japan.

M: You know what? We’ve both been obsessed with the Olypics since like 1996. I think both of us need to make it happen at some point. By this point it’s safe to say we’ll never get there as athletes. Not that that was ever an option. I’m surprised I never failed gym.

ICYMI, the Russian men are wearing these light blue shearling-lined jackets with red slacks. I like it. The Russian women are dressed like Santa Clauses.

M: Now they’re doing the history of Russia thing. Really good production values. We’ve seen some Jesus-looking people, villagers, now we’re in powdered wig times. And we skipped right to some clean-cut Bolsheviks. Didn’t really get into that messy Romanov stuff. Basically bypassed World War II and the yuckier parts of the Soviet era. Saw some guys building bridges. And here we are today.

T: Apparently all (if not most) of these actors in the History of Russia video are super popular actors in the country. Can we just have the Games back in the U.S. so I can see a montage of Poehler as Martha Washington, Idris Elba as MLK Jr., Bryan Cranston as Walter White??

M: Tina Fey as Betsy Ross, Jennifer Lawrence as Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah as herself…

T: WAIT GUYS. I saw this on Tumblr earlier and did I miss it or did NBC just fail to show this?!

M: I mean… it looks like that scene from Parks and Rec when they try to walk across the ice. Why didn’t we get to hear Matt Lauer’s opinions about that?

One of the greatest moments in TV history

Our girl Elisavetta/ Lubov is back. This child is going to have weird-assed dreams for the rest of her LIFE thanks to this. As in, I still sometimes dream that I’m back in a childhood production of something like Meet Me In St Louis and have to know all of my lines from 20 years ago. Imagine these visuals all up in your subconscious.

M: I cannot deal with this ship on the ocean thing that’s projected on the floor. It looks like a beautiful woodcut illustration. Okay, Russia. Good work.

There’s more goose-stepping, so if you’re drinking when you see a Russian stereotype you can go ahead.

T: The projections are so good I didn’t know if this Russian army of fake band players was real or not.

M: Now you have me wondering if everything has been a projection. It’s like the first Olympic games to take place in the Matrix.

T: THE PERSON WHO DESIGNED THE COSTUMES FOR THE MATRIX DESIGNED THE COSTUMES FOR THIS BALLET PORTION.

M: Consider my mind blown! This segment is probably a big part of my Olympics love. It’s technically a sports event, but I get to watch ballet and such. This War and Peace segment is just beyond.

M: And Russia REALLY out-Russias itself, with an ominous depiction of a “propaganda train,” which travelled delivering Bolshevik literature to peasants. Maybe Russia is a lot better than the U.S. at acknowledging ugly parts of their history? I mean we held our Olympics in ATLANTA for goodness sake, and I think our presentation of U.S. history was just like “we had an awesome revolution, and then we had some westward expansion, and now we’re AMERICA!”

[Obvi there are pros and cons of the changes wrought by the Bolshevik revolution but this is mostly a live blog with jokes and gifs, so…. that stuff is other places on the internet.]

T: I’m just thinking that that “propaganda train” is really making the Hunger Games parallel to new heights.

M: Yeah is this like a district 3 sort of thing with this manufacturing and cars and stuff? Are these Olympics the one where they make all of the old retired Olympians come back to compete?

T: Tick Tock This Arena’s a clock… (For those keeping score, we’re already mentioned Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Roberto Benigni so far. Just to remind you what kind of blog we are.)

M: Just so we’re clear, the rush to the cauldron (it’s a cornucopia, don’t kid yourselves) is going to be BRILLIANT. My money’s still on USA but who knows, maybe Latvia’s scrappy this year.

 T: Definitely sending J.R. Celski a sponsor gift…

T: You know, if Meredith, Matt, and rando guy I didn’t pay attention to who it was, weren’t telling us about the explanations of what’s happening and the history, I honestly think I’d be pretty lost. Not just for this opening ceremony, but for all across the board. Or like, just not have enough historical knowledge to understand why a giant steam train is flying in over head or why a little girl is floating in the air.

M: At the very beginning, they showed a portrait of some kind of queen, and my first thought was “hey, wasn’t she the one who died banging a horse?” so I’m right at your level. By the way, that story’s like a 300-year-old urban legend. Also, don’t Google  “queen dying banging a horse”. Nothing good will come of it.

Russia has a low age of death for men, so Putin wants the birth rate to go up. Wait what? As a general rule, it’s best not to talk about a country’s official birth policies if you want them to seem all fun and charming.

Fun Fact: this Olympic chairman was born and raised in Michigan. This is just his Russian guy impression.

T: Update date on the Filipino athlete: His name is Michael Christian Martinez, he’s 17, a figure skater, and the first person to represent the Philippines since 1992!

M: Awww, he wasn’t even born then!

M: Can somebody transcribe this speech? On one hand it sounds like he’s seriously sticking it to Russia about the whole homophobia thing, but there was some nebulous wording in there. It sounds like he just said that we should not use the athletes to further our human rights agendas. He’s correct, of course. We should use them to sell shoes and cereal instead.  Thank goodness we have these weird dancing jellyfish costumes now so we don’t have to think too hard.

T: I look away for like 2 minutes and suddenly it’s Finding Nemo on Ice out there.

M: Are they even dancing anymore, or just twirling around in their weird rope-light skirts?

T: Russia’s all, ‘we have your attention now. we showed you our propaganda train. we’re gonna do whatever the fuck we want now. that’s how it works in this country.’

Also, I feel like we need to pick who our potential Olympic crushes are this year. 2012 was all about Nathan Adrian:

This year, my rubles are on Eddy Alvarez:

M: How did I let myself forget about that? I’m guessing there will be some kind of muscly, attractive speed-skater? Or a skier? Sometimes the snowboarders can trend a little bro -y.

I’m sorry. Did they rent Cinderella from the Magic Kingdom of Euro Disney? Aww shoot. She’s singing that damn song.

T: But really, is this a traditional Russian ball gown? Hold up – Anastasia, she was Russian, right?

M: Yeah. RIP. (… or IS she r’ing in p?). Did Russia dress this lady like the dead Romanovs just to show that’s what they can do if they don’t like you?

This damn song. It doesn’t even have a discernible melody.

M: Yes, Russia. Yes. Congratulations on outer space.

M: On the serious, my inner six-year-old really wants these Lisa Frank jackets all of the torch passers have.

T: The fourth person to get the torch, Alina Kabaeva, is romantically linked to Putin. Please refer to the unicorn picture above for my reaction to this.

M: Whaaaat? I guess this shouldn’t be surprising.

You know, for a bunch of world-class athletes, everyone is jogging SOOOO SLOW.

T: Seriously. But also, this is why they have athletes do it. If you asked me to carry it (which, I mean I would), I’d still be near the Tron-like dancers taking my time and walking that shit at a leisurely pace.

Wasn’t there a year where there were problems with the torch lighting? Or is that just my constant fear every opening ceremony?

M: That definitely happened. Or maybe I’m thinking of the candles on most birthday cakes I’ve had instead. But I think it happened.

T: Ok there are like 10 minutes left – what happened to lesbian duo t.A.T.u??? I’ve been waiting all night to post this song that was a hit in 2002. By hit I mean, made the rounds on my mix tapes.

M: I think we have to seize the day. We have to post it now. But really, where is t.a.t.u? I saw them wearing weird plaid things on tumblr, I know they’re there.

T: Okay, apparently it’s not being aired in the U.S., only internationally. I mean come on, dozens of fans stateside are throwing their nesting dolls at the tv right now. But you can kinda watch it here.

M: Basically throwing a rotten Faberge egg at Putin right now. Or whoever is responsible for this. Was it you, Lauer? It was, wasn’t it?

On that note, Lauer’s calling it a night, Viera’s calling it a night, even Putin’s calling it a night (with his rumored paramore??), so we are too.

Thanks for joining us and keep an eye out for Olympic posts for the next couple of weeks. We’re covering a few sports and some fun other winter games-themed posts too!