Sochi Olympics: 8 Things Watch, Love & Gag Over
By Stacy Lambe
LOVE: Out Athletes
No doubt the dark cloud looming over the Games is Russia's anti-gay laws that threaten the livelihood and safety of gay athletes. However, seven are putting on a brave front and representing their countries as well as the LGBT community. These are the folks to route for, no matter your interest in the sport:
Anatasia Bucsis - Canadian speed skater
Barbara Jezeršek - Slovenia cross country skier
Belle Brockhoff - Australian snowboarder
Cherly Maas - Dutch snowboarder
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz - Austrian ski jumper
Ireen Wüst - Dutch speed skater
Sanne van Kerkhof - Dutch short track speedskater
Curling is easily the most event fun to watch. Even if you don't quite understand why the sweepers are vigorously scrubbing the ice in front of the stone as the skip yells widely from behind the hack, you will become entranced by the thrill of it all. Also, it's fun to watch with friends and usually is the one event you can catch live on TV.
GAG: The March of the Penguins
The Opening Ceremonies parade of athletes may happen every four years but it doesn't take away from the fashion of it all. Each team comes outfitted in a uniform met to represent its home nation. It's like Hunger Games but with less fire. Look out for the Amurica cardigans of the U.S. team.
LOVE: Justin Kripps
The Canadian bob sledder first caught the Internet's attention when he tweeted a picture of him and his teammates in their undies. The tweet got his site banned in Russia but luckily we can still access it here. The bear-licious athlete is one to follow on Twitter for adorable pics of him and his team prepping for competition, walking the Opening Ceremonies and #beardmode updates.
WATCH: Team Figure Skating
Like gymnastics, figure skating is incorporating a team element. So now fans of the Games' most graceful sport get double the pleasure. Each country's team will include one female, one male, one pair and one ice dancing pair vying for the event's first gold medal. Ross Mathews, prepare to eat your heart out.
GAG: The Shit Show of It All
There's no denying that this competition will be a shit show. In addition to all the anti-gay laws, the country has reportedly ordered mass killing of stray dogs, installed cameras in the Olympic Village bathrooms, haven't finished building hotels, built some of the ski slopes too steep, withheld Chobani yogurt from athletes and the Open Ceremonies came complete with an asterisk.
LOVE: Our Favorite Uncle, Bob Costas
It's not the Olympics without Costas. The sportscaster has guided fans through a number of Games as well as sporting events throughout the world. Now that he's in Sochi, he comes complete with a swollen eye (due to an infection, though he just looks drunk) and an ice palace of a studio a la Frozen. The anchor is a constant force in the sometimes confusing and ever-changing landscape of the competition. And if he doesn't do it for you, there's always Morgan Freeman.
WATCH: Tonya Harding's Knee-capping of Nancy Kerrigan
ESPN's 30 for 30 series finally turned its focus to one of the greatest Olympic scandals. The Price of Gold, which aired exclusively on the sports channel, is now streaming of Netflix allowing fans who missed it to catch up. The moment almost left a permanent black eye on ice skating but also gave it an edge that fans never could have imagined.