Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sochi Olympics

After missing the London Olympics opening ceremonies somehow (talk about careless), we weren't going to miss seeing the Russian ceremonies. Talk about impressive, we were blown away. Yes the looks at Russian history were highly idealized but this is their moment in the sun.

My favorite moment might have been the black and white Peter the Great sailing ship. I have to say, though, that I also really loved the highly stylized industrial revolution with the look taken from Soviet-era posters. We both thought it fascinating that you never saw an image of Stalin or Lenin, which surely would have been at the forefront in Soviet days.

My favorite people-person moment was the almost tender look that Vladislav Tretyak gave Irina Rodnina right before they lit the torch together. Somehow to me it spoke of how far they'd come, of what they'd been through as athletes from their time in Russian history.

Every time they showed Putin, I thought of what President Obama had said in an interview right before-hand ... that he always looked bored in public, as if he had to put on a bad-guy persona. Mission accomplished. He looked as if he almost couldn't be bothered, as if Hollywood had cast him to play a very powerful gangster.

As always, Olympic uniforms are the funnybone of the countries, it seems to me. Most were so boring. Or sometimes confusing. Why were the Irish wearing what looked like military camouflage design?

Favorites included the Tonga delegation, which brought the cold-weather version of Hawaiian shirts.

The Russian women's uniforms were so beautiful that we couldn't figure out what happened to the men's boring ones. Two different designers perhaps?

I really loved the Kazahkstan flag bearer's uniform and wished they'd have riffed on that traditional look a bit more for the other uniforms, which were rather average looking. It's hard to see here but you can get the idea.

But no one ... no one ... matched the U.S. for sheer, down-home, ugliness. It looked as if they'd had two hundred grandmas sit down and knit up sweaters for everyone. Sweaters that you have to wear because ... you know ... grandma knitted it for you.

Can't wait to see how this is translated for the events. Talk about giving the designers a challenge.


  1. The American uniforms look like a high school athletic club fund-raiser blankie gone wrong.

  2. Oh I missed the opening. Sounds like they were classy. If I remember the London games had some controversial risque segments. I wished I had seen the kazakhstan entrence. I have an attachment to that country. That's where my wife and I spent a couple of months in adopting our son. Our son is Kazakh, or at least genetically. Those are the American uniforms? Urrrgh. Embarressing.

  3. We were watching the men's snowboarding and my daughters noticed that one of the people at the top of the chute was just standing there knitting. Even WSJ wrote about it:

    Maybe it will be a sport next time!

  4. I even knit and I think they are ugly!!! What were they thinking?