March 21, 2014 | by Kate Clinton
Pussy Riot wins the gold for bravery
Pussy Riot, Russia, gay news, Washington Blade

Pussy Riot (Photo by Igor Mukhin; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Like Bob Costas’s pink eye, the Sochi Winter Games are over. I did enjoy learning that Putin’s favorite band is Lube. No more six-ringed spoiler alerts about scores and winners. The Potemkin Olympic Villages are emptied. Gusts of warm air waft through the gaping holes in head-butted bathroom doors.

Putin spent billions on the Games in Sochi, a beach resort on the Black Sea.  Turns out it would have been cheaper to have Atlanta re-purpose its old, iced-in Summer Game sites. Putin also spent billions getting the Ukraine not to join the European Union. Nonetheless, a majority of Ukrainians voted to unfriend Putin.

As the Olympic Games wound down the violence in the still-trying-to-break-away Ukraine escalated as Ukraine’s leader, Putin’s BFF, cracked down with murderous sniper fire. They were not biatholon bullets. Also in the closing days, Pussy Riot was detained three times in the protest area located 10 miles from Sochi. They were the only queer protests against Putin’s bullying barely noted at or near the games. They should get gold for extreme bravery.

But the official Olympic medal count is in. I hate when they bite them as if they’re Chinese New Year chocolate gold coins. White people won a lot of medals. Lots of really, really white people won – Canadians, Norwegians, Russians, the Hyper-Caucasians. I haven’t seen that many blue-eyed people on TV since the last Republican National Convention.

According to ethnologists and cultural anthropologists, peoples’ skin is whiter in the northern latitudes for easier absorption of the sun’s rays in those 10 minutes when bodies are not totally encased in wicking Under Armour. But why are white people devising such increasingly death-defying extreme sports? Of course the exception is curling. That panicked sweeping was actually invented by a queen in Toronto whose ex’s mother-in-law was making a surprise visit. Sweep it up. Sweep it up. Sweep it up.

Otherwise, watching the boarding, sledding, quadruple looping, and half-piping has the uncomfortable feel of watching mass suicide attempts. The slalom used to be hard enough, but now skiers have to do it Ginger Rogers backwards off a ramp at the end of their runs just as their legs turn to lead. Even more cruelly, they make the poor mothers watch at the bottom of the slope.

Perhaps the cold causes such extreme sports. But given that explanation, and given the brutal winter in New York City, I should have been at Sochi in my Ralph Lauren red, white and blue ironically ugly sweater in the “Slush Vault” event. Don’t they know that in the sub-zeroes they could just stay in and binge-watch the Danish series “Borgen” with the hot woman prime minister and call it a day?

The extremity of the events can’t all be blamed on too much Red Bull or the creeping Cirque du Soleiling of the world. Will snow sports coming out of mountain states with legalized marijuana mellow out? Or will the reckless YOLO-mojo ratchet up?

Did a clear-eyed Costas already do an ESPN special on this? If Bob asked me, from a safe distance and after two minutes of vigorous Purelling, I would suggest that white people have the Winter Olympics so they can finally win some medals. And I would add that the increasing suicidality of the games could be linked to white people’s extreme anxiety about changing demographics and, spoiler alert, getting knocked off the top spot on the podium.

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