Goodbye, Sochi: Top 10 Memories of the 2014 Winter Olympics

The Pussy Riot beatdown at Sochi.
The Pussy Riot beatdown at Sochi.

I am not a big Olympics guy, it's just never been my thing.

There, I said it. I've actually said it many times. I don't hate the Olympics, I'm just not all that interested.

But my disinterest does start to border on disdain when some of you track and field or figure skating people start to act like I'm a terrorist mole at CTU during a season of 24 because I'm not in front of my television draped in the American flag every night cheering for our American athletes.

Now that we're clear where me and the Olympics stand with each other, allow me to proclaim the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi my favorite Olympics of all time!

It's not even close. And it has virtually nothing to do with medal counts, judges scores, or feats of athleticism.

Let's take a look back at my ten favorite things of the Sochi Olympics:

10. Bob Costas' melting eyeballs If ever there was an event whose opening salvo should be the primary studio host announcing to the world that he has a mysterious, goopy eye infection, it would be the Sochi Olympics, and that's precisely what happened. On opening night, Bob Costas announced to the world that he had some sort of infection in his left eye, and that's why he had the "Mr. Peabody glasses look." (Very contemporary reference for those over the age of 50, by the way.) By about the third day (which is when Costas had promised the infection would be gone), it had actually spread to his other eye to the point where Costas' eyes needed their own tracker on the ESPN sports ticker. Finally, Costas' streak of 157 consecutive days as the face of NBC's Olympic studio coverage came to a crashing halt after this WTF "acceptance of fate" moment chugging vodka with Mary Carillo

Costas would go on hiatus the next day and would be replaced for roughly a week or so by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira

before returning gloriously to close out the coverage


9. The defective Olympic rings This was awesome.... was the "Bob Costas left eye" of opening ceremony fails. It also led to a

funny Astros joke

and some

self-deprecating Sochi humor in the closing ceremonies

. Fun times all around!

8. Lindsay Vonn's rehab video I will admit, I've never watched Lindsay Vonn ski. Not for one solitary second. So having her miss the Olympics due to a knee injury, while sad, didn't leave me feeling empty whatsoever. Plus, if she had skied, then we never would had gotten the heavy coverage of her rehabilitation workouts, which included several swimming pool workouts, which included a number of bikini shots. Sorry, that was better than watching Vonn ski.


7. This Star Wars video The conditions were apparently less than optimal on the slopes, and thankfully someone with some video editing prowess and a love for Star Wars came up with this...

6. The crashes Of course, perhaps satirical Star Wars videos would not have been necessary if the Sochi Oympics folks had just taken the time to properly test and shape the moguls on their downhill runs. It started at the beginning of the event when the first three women's downhill skiers all took spills after a jump was clearly designed for "blue square" skiers, not "black diamond" skiers. Then there were the snowboard crash landings and other foibles where the weather conditions essentially created puddles in the middle of the half pipe. As is standard in 2014, slideshows with the numerous crashes of Sochi abounded.

5. The town square beatdown of Pussy Riot If you had asked me what Pussy Riot was before the Olympics I would have said it was an adult film about stand up comedians getting a ridiculous amount of groupie tail. As it turns out, it is actually a Russian punk rock band that is not really a big fan of Putin's policies. At first, they were just a funny name to hear Bob Costas say on TV...

Then they became a much bigger storyline of Sochi. As it turns out, the feelings are mutual between Pussy Riot and Putin, as seen in this video where Putin's Cossack law enforcement types disperse an impromptu show that the band was about to play in some Sochi town square somewhere...

I wish Obama would give the LAPD the green light to give Bieber the Pussy Riot treatment. Just saying.

4. Stray dogs Clearly, the good people of Sochi are not fans of the old Price is Right, otherwise they would have heeded Bob Barker's advice to help control the pet population and have your pet spayed or neutered, because Sochi is apparently overrun with stray dogs. And apparently there's no elegant way to alleviate the stray dog, um, issue once it's out there. Me, I thought actually helping with the pet population as an Olympic event (part of the biathlon?) would've been interesting.


3. Sochi's Shawshank-style accommodations Whether it was the urine colored water, a nationwide shortage of pillows, defective locks on bathroom doors, or the unsanitary conditions of the bathrooms themselves, the comparative squalor of Sochi for American media types juxtaposed to the Super Bowl the previous week will always be remembered (and laughed at by those who rightly think the media complains too much) fondly.

2. Johnny Weir Johnny Weir...

...that is all.

1. Sochi Bear You can judge a lot about an event by the mascot that represents it. Along those lines, the mascot for the 2014 Winter Olympics was a massive bear that can best be described as "Teddy Ruxpin after a session with Michael Jackson's dermatologist and after being stung in the face by a massive swarm of bees." Sochi Bear's best moments at the Olympics? Probably creeping on (practically trolling) the United States men's hockey team during the bronze medal game, and then shedding one single tear to symbolize the end of the games at the closing ceremony.

And now I shed a single tear. Goodbye, Sochi. You may now return to your shoddy treatment of your citizenry.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at

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