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2010 Olympics

Please Advise! Putin Stumped by Vancouver's Putin-Free Games

So cheap! So gay! So dissent-y! How'd we do it, Russia's leader asks Burgess.

Steve Burgess 6 Feb

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Read his previous articles here.

[Editor's note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a Ph.D in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Comrade Dr. Steve,

The time has come at last for Putin Sportfest 2014! Heterosexual athletes from the other less fortunate countries of the world will come to Sochi to compete in athletic competitions that I, Vladimir Putin, could win while strapped to a 200-pound sack of beets but which I choose not to because President Putin is a magnanimous host and great lover too. Please enjoy the Games and do not complain when Syria wins gold in four-man bobsled as it will all be done on the square with no monkey business.

But I am curious about Vancouver. You did a good Winter Olympics despite interference from seditious protesters and many, many homosexuals. How did you overcome these obstacles without a strong Putin at the helm? And why did you stop before the whole $51 billion was spent?

Yours in glorious and certain victory or else,

President Putin

Dear Vladimir,

Considering your thing about gay people I have been wondering: why the Winter Olympics? Why not an NFL franchise? Even when you subtract the $49 billion for corruption, you'd have enough to buy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a couple of times over. And there are no homosexuals in the NFL. Such a thing would be unthinkable.

As it is, you've gone and bought yourself just about the gayest sporting event in the world. For years the Winter Olympics have been the Hollywood Squares of sport, with the sporting Paul Lyndes co-existing peacefully with the George Gobels. Sochi will be the exception of course -- we're all looking forward to the addition of line brawls in ice dancing.

But thanks for the kind words, Vladimir. Vancouver had its problems, but we did do a pretty good job in the end. Of course, we had certain advantages, like pre-existing manhole covers and bathroom taps that disgorged water rather than a corrosive substance apparently suitable for dissolving the bodies of Russian mob victims. It's no wonder Sochi has such a problem with stray dogs -- those animals must be tougher than Navy SEALS.

Vancouver did not see quite the same economic benefits Russia seems to be in for. The 2010 Olympics apparently cost around $7 billion, which struck some of us as a tidy sum. But you reportedly forked out $51 billion which, considering the lack of manhole covers and such, must be funding some very impressive diamond-encrusted tortoises.

Still, it's all about sport. You know that, Vladimir -- in one published interview you credited sports for getting you off the street and turning your life around. "I was scum," you said. Things have changed. Now you're president.

It is clear you learned well from the Vancouver example. Tsar Sullivan ruled when the 2010 Olympics were granted to Vancouver. But he was toppled by Gregor the Mighty before he could savour his triumph. You would never allow this to happen. The tools you possess are many, such as squadrons of angry storks who imprinted on you at birth, ready to swoop down on troublemakers. Giant wooden penises are also useful in this regard. Or what the hell -- just go with riot cops, repression, and lengthy prison terms. You're a traditionalist, I know.

Certainly we could all benefit from watching your treatment of Pussy Riot. We in the West are weak and permissive, and the result is Justin Bieber.

Congratulations on your Olympics, Mr. President. I hope for your sake that Russian athletes will have success and Ukrainian athletes will experience the kind of inexplicable setbacks that will make them reconsider their impudence. Unfortunately, we cannot promise that the Canadian Olympic team will be free of homosexuals. But we do promise plenty of vigorous contact, on ice and off.  [Tyee]

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