The Winter Olympics have begun. The Olympic flame was lit by a contingent including a tennis player (and full-time Florida resident), an anti-American racist (who at least won a gold medal in a winter sport), and Putin’s alleged girlfriend (who won a gold medal in a faux sport at a summer Olympics). It would have been so fitting had they played Light My Fire when Alina Kabaeva was doing her thing-with the torch, I mean-but alas, that will have to be left to some wit on YouTube.
But to hear Putin tell it, this glorious moment for Mother Russia almost never came to pass due to the nefarious plotting of evil foreigners who tried to play “dirty tricks” in Guatemala City where the IOC was meeting in 2007 to award the games:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary aired late Friday that a rival nation vying to host the 2014 Winter Olympics ran a dirty tricks campaign in an atttempt to derail the eventual winning Sochi bid.
In the documentary, which was shown on state television channel Rossiya 1, Putin said Sochi 2014 promotion leaflets were shoved under doors of hotel rooms occupied by members of the International Olympic Committee on the night before the final vote in 2007.
Under IOC rules, campaigning is strictly prohibited during the run-up to the vote.
“Do you know what saved us? CCTV cameras in hallways recorded that it was done by our rivals posing as us. It didn’t help them,” Putin said.
I find this hilarious. What, exactly, would the CCTV reveal? How would it demonstrate that those shoving the promotional leaflets were not in Russian employ, but were dirty tricksters? Did those caught on tape wear signs saying “We are not Russians but evil foreigners playing dirty tricks on sainted Russia”? And if they did, how would you know it wasn’t Russians doing this to try to show how they were being victimized by evil foreign plots? And if they did, how would you know . . . well, just think of the whole Moriarity on the train thing.
But what is even more hilarious is the idea that IOC officials that would have been so horrified by someone shoving illicit leaflets under their doors that it would have caused them to resist the large sums of cash Russia shoved into their grasping mitts and Swiss accounts.
But the most hilarious thing at all is that Putin tells this ludicrous story on national television with a straight face, knowing that he will get away with it–and being right about that.