Adam Rippon, America’s Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone, but most especially to America’s newest sweetheart, Adam Rippon!

If you have been following the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, you will already be familiar with Adam as the fiercest figure skater and ready-for-the-runway glamazon bitch, always ready with great eyebrows and a witty quip for Andrea and all of us.

If you haven’t, perhaps a little explanation is necessary.

Adam Rippon has been on the figure skating scene for a long while, but at 28 these are his first Olympics. Bummed we didn’t get to watch him in 2014? Don’t be. It’s the DGAF-ness that comes in your late 20s that makes Adam so endearing. You want examples? We’ve got examples, Valentines.

Let’s start with skating. If you missed this performance in the team event, get ready to have your heart ripped out of your chest and triple-axele double-toe double-looped across the ice. YouTube is I guess being very strict about Olympic vids but just go to NBC.

Also the scoring was a little garbage (in the words of Johnny Weir, first place skater Kolyada was “oatmeal”)  but we all know that figure skating’s scoring system needs work.

Adam’s not concerned, though. He came to play. And he’s going to celebrate later by going to Target, which is pretty darn relatable:

Adam has supporters all across the globe, but a few famous ones include Elmo:

And let’s not forget Reese Witherspoon, because all Adam wants to do is maker her proud. Olympic figure skaters, they’re just like us!

Reese was very proud indeed, and Adam dedicated the medal to his mom, “but more to [Reese] in a way, because she has more followers on Instagram”:

He calculates that Reese has probably spent, like, three minutes of her life composing tweets to him, which is a pretty big deal when you think of how busy she is with the next season of Big Little Lies and the spring Draper James collection, among other things.

Adam is Olympic roomies with Mirai Nagasu and their friendship is everything. They’ve been friends for a decade and during the 2014 Olympics they were eating hamburgers on a rooftop waiting for their time to shine.

I have seen brides and grooms watch their spouses walk down the aisle with less love and pride than Adam watches Mirai skate with.

Although every Olympian needs supporters, you know who the real motivators are: haters.

 

A few haters have reached out to Adam over Twitter, and our precious glamazon bitch ready for the runway has a few words for them:

My favorite thing about Adam, other than his sense of humor and general cheekbone situation, is his confidence. He encourages everyone to be who they are:

I mean. This is a man who skated after singing Rhianna’s Diamonds in an exhibition, and it was GOOD. He explained that he is always changing it up, “always trying to keep these bitches on their toes.”

Believe it or not, Adam is the FIRST openly gay athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics. There have been other athletes who weren’t out at the time they competed, and this year’s Olympics also feature out skier Gus Kenworthy. They’re certified cuties:

In case you’re wondering if that tweet was directed at … anyone … in particular… the answer is of course, yes.

Mike Pence is in Pyeongchang ‘supporting’ the U.S. athletes, and also believes that you should shock gay kids into becoming straight sad gay kids. Does Adam have anything to say to Pence? Not particularly, no.

 

Basically, Adam is using his platform to raise the voice of others who are affected by Pence’s views – saying “right now I have a voice and I think it’s really important for me to use it” – but these Olympics aren’t about Pence. They’re about athletic, hard-working attractive people who are much funnier on social media … and being America’s sweetheart:

Adam has also used his platform to highlight the body image issues and disordered eating common among male athletes in the figure skating world.

Anyway, vice presidents aside, at the end of the day a gay athlete is just like a straight athlete with better eyebrows:

 

So, should YOU go to the Olympics? Adam highly recommends it if you ever have the option.

As for Valentines, I’m afraid Adam already has the best one in all of South Korea, saying “nobody loves me as much as I love me; so I guess I’ll just be my own Valentine tomorrow.”

On this February 14th, let’s remember the truly important thing:

Happiest of Valentine’s Days to our beloved runway-ready Glamazon Bitch.

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Unimpressive Olympic Sports of Yore

Every two years, I always watch in awe of the Olympians who are the greatest athletes in their respective sports. “How do you throw a javelin stick that far?” “How do you run so fast so far in less than 10 seconds?” “How are you doing a proper push-up on a v high bar?” “How are you swimming a marathon in the sea with jellyfish?” “Is this the best way for a human to get down a mountain?” These are just a few questions I ask myself when tuning in to these Games. Of course the skill level of any Olympian is impressive, but the athletes of the first Olympiad are amateurs compared to those in 2018. This improvement is so drastic in some sports that it seems ridiculous to even call it an Olympic sport. For example: Men’s vault in 1932 (see video here).

Homeboy just leaped over the vault while the South Korean dude did a bunch of flip-a-doos (technical term, don’t worry about it), and I guarantee you the crowds at both Olympics had their jaws dropped.

Let’s look at some early figure skating. Herma Szabo was undeniably graceful, but this barely looks like a warmup in modern terms:

 

Here are a few more sports from back in the day that aren’t as impressive as they are now. Also, I’m convinced we can do half of these if we tried really hard.

Tug of War

Tug of War is obviously not a sport anymore, and maybe it’s because it doesn’t require a lot of technical skill? Yes, you need extreme strength, but if it’s a sport kids play in elementary school when the gym teacher doesn’t really want to put too much effort in, it shouldn’t be a real sport.

Women’s Team Gymnastics

The sport of gymnastics has come far from the 1900s. Back then, large groups of gymnasts represented each country and took to the center of an outdoor field to do… gymnastics? Or rather really graceful dance/tai chi movements. Meanwhile, the men performed on actual apparatus like vault and parallel bars. See: The Margaret Abbott Awards.

Water Motorsports

Literal motorboating was only a sport at the 1908 Olympics, and it was discontinued for good reason – officials decided they were not ready for motorized competition. The race was comprised of five laps around an eight nautical mile course. Unlike a water sport like kayaking, athletes didn’t have hurdles or gates they had to clear, and also they had the assistance of a motor. I mean, have you seen the arms on Olympic rowers?

Croquet

Is it because I don’t understand why croquet is a thing people play in the first place? Yeah, probably. Like motorboating, croquet only lasted once, played during the 1900 Summer Games in Paris. Those French, man.

Live Pigeon Shooting

Look. We hate pigeons too, but this just seems a little extra. The 1900 gold medalist killed a whopping 21 pigeons. RIP.

Alpinism

When we were teens, one of our favorite gym class units was “orienteering.” Basically, we were sent into the large field between our school and our school’s abandoned priest mansion with a compass and had to follow directions. It was arguably athletic (we walked?) but definitely not a sport. Alpinism is like the Olympic version of that. In short, they climbed a mountain. Impressive, yes. Sport? Nah.

This event was a real stretch because they didn’t blow a whistle and send a pack of athletes up a mountain. That would have been the Agro Crag, and we would have loved it. They just awarded medals to whoever had climbed a mountain the best since the last Olympics. Medals were awarded during the winter games in 1924 and the summer games in 1932 and 1936.

Rope Climbing

The good news is this isn’t a crowd of Victorians standing in front of a gallows. The bad news is you can no longer get an Olympic medal for climbing a big rope. This event actually made it through 5 Olympics. 1904 winner George Eyser even had one wooden leg! And from the looks of it, two skinned hands.

Tandem Cycling

Tandem cycling – AKA two men on a bicycle built for two – was an Olympic event for decades. We’d argue that it was objectively the most adorable of all Olympic events and hereby ship every damn one of these 1924 couples.

Ski Joring

If you asked me what ‘joring’ is, I’d probably answer “not sure, but it sounds like an old activity from the 1920s.” And it is! In the 1928 Olympics athletes were pulled on skis by horses. That’s what joring is. Also, this looks like (a) a blast and (b) a sport that takes place right where you’re NOT supposed to hang out in relation to a horse.

Ski Ballet

Not only was ski ballet a thing, ski ballet was a thing until 2000! And while doing ballet on skis truly IS impressive, all I can picture is a clumsy mess with skis, arms and legs akimbo.

Military Patrolling

In a nutshell, people cross-country ski with heavy backpacks and then they shoot rifles, but not at anybody. To be very honest, if this sport would help certain people feel like they’ve proven that their country has good army men without getting into a nuclear war or putting those army men in actual danger, I am very for it.

2014: A GIF-tastic Retrospective

Well we’re almost to the end of the year, folks. And that means you get to see Best Of lists everywhere you look. Including here. But rather than countdown our favorite albums or TV shows or Poehler moments, we’re opting to compile the best moments of the year in GIF form, one of the greatest gifts the Internet has ever given us. Did your faves make the list?

**Warning – this is obviously iamge heavy, so just be patient!

{January} Jennifer Lawrence being Jennifer Lawrence and sneaking up on Taylor Swift during the Golden Globes red carpet but not realizing she’s also in the show. And also on live TV.

{January} “I want you to know that the red underneath my shoes is my blood.” – Emma Thompson not giving any fucks while presenting at the Golden Globes {x}

{January} POEHLER FINALLY WON A GOLDEN GLOBE/AWARD AND I THOUGHT I WASN’T SEEING CORRECTLY BECAUSE OF MY TEARS OF JOY, BUT THIS MAKE OUT SESH WITH BONO REALLY DID HAPPEN.

{January} Good recovery on Swift’s part when she thought she won Best Album at the Grammys. Her team – not so much.

{January} Joe Biden being all Joe Biden-y at the State of the Union. John Boehner orange and bored, per usual.

{February} Bob Costas, Olympics broadcasting icon, got pink eye and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves, so we made this gif instead.

{February} Olympic ice skater Ashley Wagner calls bullshit with her horrible scores, becomes meme.

{February} Ice skater Jeremy Abbott falls rulll hard on the ice, slams into the wall, lays there for a bit, THEN GETS BACK UP AND FINISHES HIS ROUTINE.

{February} Jimmy Fallon takes over the Tonight Show and I sob like a baby.

{March} Jennifer Lawrence falls at the Oscars. Again. This time on the red carpet. On a traffic cone. Just getting out of the car. #Bless

{March} Still the best selfie ever taken in the storied history of selfies. (JLaw obvs said the boob comment)

{March} The time we all thought wecollectively had a stroke, then realized John Travolta just can’t read.

{March} And the entire world sobbed as Lupita won her first Oscar.

{March} Marshmallows united and wait 10 years for this. Worth it.

{April} In one of the final episodes of Mad Men, Ginsberg actually goes mad. Luckily, Ben Feldman is much more sane (and hot) than this.

{April} When the internet made the most of this cute chubby future king nugget

 

{April} Rita Ora became a national hero by ripping Zefron’s clothes off as he accepted his Best Shirtless Performance prize at the MTV Movie Awards

{May} Coming up – coming down – Solange kick yo ass up in a gownnn.

{May} The collective exclamation of How I Met Your Mother fans everywhere.

{May} This was a confusing thing Ryan Gosling and Macaulay Culklin did.

{May} 50 Cent proves he’s much better at ANYTHING ELSE

{June} I didn’t care about the World Cup but I cared about this guy.

{July} A lot of celebrities died as part of the Sharknado 2 wrath

{August} Pratt.

{August} This lil guy.

{August} Ebola was a thing we freaked out about

{August} Andy Cohen takes a Belfie (butt selfie, obvs) with Kim K.

{August} People poured a bucket of ice water over themselves for charity and Ben Affleck pushed his wife into the pool.

{August} A joke set up at the beginning about their Seinfeld past paid off with this makeout sesh right before Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepted her 10,290th Emmy award. Bonus JFal.

{August} ‘Please welcome my beautiful, amazing, and talented friend: Beyonce!’

 

{August} Disregard Miley’s tears and put all your attention to the shade Katy Perry and Sam Smith are throwing in the back.

{August} Bow.Down.Bitches.

{August} If there’s anyone to upstage Beyonce while performing a 15 minute routine at the VMAs, it’s Blue Ivy. I’ve watched this Vine more times that I should admit.

{September} “This week, Amal Alamuddin, a brilliant Oxford educated human rights lawyer and former UN advisor settled for a 52 year old man.”

{September} Diamond Dan guys. Diamond FREAKING Dan.

{October} Taylor Swift became a pop star by doing this.

{December} Walken proved that you can just fake it til you make it if you’re in a live musical of Peter Pan

{December} This reunion made me feel all the feels.

{December} The King and Queen meet Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge

 

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.

The Worst: Olympics Fashion Through the Years

THE OLYMPICS START TOMORROW! THE OLYMPICS START TOMORROW!!!

Here’s a little known fact I don’t think Molly nor I have ever touched upon in this blog: we love the Olympics. Like straight up obsessed. In fact, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics (read: Apolo Anton Ohno) was one of the bonding experiences we had in high school. Needless to say, we’re excited about the start of the Sochi Olympics on Friday.

So to prep you for the next couple of weeks, here’s a guide on what you will probably notice first whilst watching the Opening Ceremony on Friday: the official outfits.

For example: This is what you have to look forward to from Norway in the coming weeks:

Say hello to the Norwegian curling team. No, this is not a joke. Yes, those are their real uniforms.

Don’t believe me?

This is what the team wore when they won their silver medal in Vancouver in 2010. Like, they went up on the podium like that as they were handed the world’s second best prize in men’s curling.

But this is just the beginning.

Unfortunately, the Norwegians aren’t the only ones who are forced to wear hideous attire as they represent their homelands. And while it may hurt our eyes while we watch the athletes parade around the Olympics, it’s totally worth it to see what kind of getups the folks are wearing these days.

Like this outfit volunteers in Sochi have to wear:

I know Russia can be a little behind the times and all, but this looks straight up from a 1992 TGIF sitcom

And America, doing it big with Ralph Lauren:

So before we get our first glimpse of what ‘hot Olympic fashion trends’ are like during the Opening Ceremony tomorrow, here’s a look back at some of the absolute worst throughout the years.

USA {Rome 1960}

1960: The year we were really into barbershop quartets. Specifically the hats.

 

Canada {Sapporo 1972}

Listen up, Canada. We get that you like to tout the fact that -30 degree weather is like your summer, but put some damn pants on.

 

USA {Sarajevo 1984}

Nothing says America like dressing up the athletes in cowboy outfits that looks like Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain. They wore almost the exact same thing four years earlier in Lake Placid. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO QUIT YOU, SHEEPSKIN JACKETS.

 

Australia {Barcelona 1992}

Yup, that’s 1992 alright.

 

Canada {Barcelona 1992}

Come on Canada, you’re better than this. Bonus for the fanny packs though. ’92’s opening ceremony looks totally rad.

 

Canada {Lillehammer 1994}

Well, apparently Canada is NOT better than this. I think the designer thought they were making uniforms for athletes in communist Russia.

 

Japan {Sydney 2000}

Do Japanese people have pride parades? If so, that’s probably where they got these outfits.

 

Japan {Athens 2004}

I mean, could you BE anymore Asian.

 

France {Beijing 2008}

Uh, can you can be more Asian. What’s up with the sumo belts, Frenchies?

 

Poland {Beijing 2008}

Fun Fact: All of Poland’s athletes from this Olympics were rhythmic gymnasts.
Another Fun Fact: The preceding fact is false.

 

Hungary {Beijing 2008}

To me, these outfits scream, ‘DON’T FORGET US. WE’RE A REAL COUNTRY TOO’. Shhhhh Hungary. Shhhhhhh.

 

Czech Republic {Vancouver 2010}

If you stare at the pants long enough it turns into a Magic Eye illusion

 

Ukraine {London 2012}

Ukrainians: We’re two wild and crazyy guyyssss

 

Great Britain {London 2012}

The Brits secretly stole these from ABBA’s costume museum in Sweden.

 

Czech Republic {London 2012}

What I’ve learned from this is that the Czechs basically need a new designer. Who thinks, ‘You know what would make these better? BLUE PATENT LEATHER BOOTS!’