Column: RICK SOLEM
A few weeks ago, all the talk with the Sochi Winter Olympic Games was related to terrorist threats.
Today, the Games began and most of the reports out there border on the ridiculous that have nothing to do with world’s best of the best at sledding, skiing and ice skating.
Instead, reports coming out are how athletes aren’t getting extra pillows, soap, yogurt ... . Other reports state terrorists could be hiding explosives onboard flights in tubes of toothpaste. And then the laws against ‘gay propaganda.’
One of the more ridiculous stories coming out of Russia, or, I should say, not getting into Russia is the case of the missing Greek yogurt.
WHERE’S THE GREEK?
Apparently, American athletes need their Greek yogurt for breakfast. Instead, it sits in a warehouse in New York - 5,000 cups of Chobani Greek Yogurt.
It remains caught up in a ‘bureaucratic web of international trade negotiations.’ Russian authorities say the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture refused to provide a certificate that’s required to send dairy through customs.
Someone with the USDA said the agency is working with its Russian counterpart to reach a resolution.
Is it that hard? And do they not have Greek yogurt in Russia? Are Russians and Greeks in a dispute, where this is such a problem?
Do the Americans really need their team sponsored Chobani?
So many questions? No answers!
WHERE’S THE PILLOW?
Another tragic story out of Sochi is the case of the missing everyday necessities.
American speedskaters are missing soap, trash cans and, stop reading if you get queezy … but the athletes are missing their extra pillows.
“I still don't have an extra pillow,'' speedskater Brian Hansen explained, “so I'm actually using a blanket stuffed inside a T-shirt and using my pillow under my legs.”
Another athlete, Jilleanne Rookard can’t find a garbage can, so they’re doing what any of us would do with trash, “we’re stuck throwing trash on the floor in a pile again,” she said.
Can’t they find a garbage bag or a box or something? They’re throwing it on the floor; who does that?
If no soap, no garbage cans or no pillows weren’t enough, the athletes are also having a hard time with the staff. They arrive at odd times and, “they don’t speak the language,” Rookard said.
Someone should mention they are in Russia.
GAYS, "LEAVE KIDS ALONE"
Moving on, according to the Associated Press, many will be tuning into the Games to watch, not the competitions, but whether or not Russia will enforce its law on gay “propaganda” if anyone, for example, waves a rainbow flag.
The Winter Olympics are boring, but I don’t think anyone is tuning in to watch someone waving a rainbow flag.
Now that I think about it, I would rather watch Russian police run into the crowd and tackle someone waving a rainbow flag than watch someone ice skating. There’s no question about that.
If that’s not ridiculous enough, Russian president Vladimir Putin, who relates homosexuality to pedophilia, said gays will be welcome as long as they “leave the kids alone.”
OK, that’s more ridiculous than athletes not having yogurt.
WRAPPING IT UP
So, if you tune in from now until Feb. 23, just remember the trials and tribulations these athletes have, not just endured to become some of the world’s best at cross country skiing, sledding and ice skating, but what they’re overcoming in their hotel rooms and dinner tables.
No soap. No yogurt. No gays. These are the Sochi Olympics, so far.