Kate Hansen shares video of possible wolf in Sochi Olympics hallway

Sochi-Olympics-wolfThere have been a number of stories about stray dogs wandering around Sochi at the Winter Olympics. Some have been adopted by athletes while others are left to bark at skiers during their training runs. Stuff got real on Wednesday night when US luger Kate Hansen may have spotted a wolf roaming the hallways of her dormitory.

Could it have been a husky? Siberia is only 2,666 miles from Sochi, so I guess that’s possible. If you Google the differences between wolves and huskies, you’ll notice that wolves have a longer, more defined snout than huskies. The animal spotted by Hansen looked like it had a pretty long, narrow snout, which is more characteristic of a wolf.

Needless to say, you can now add “possible wolves wandering hallways” to the growing list of #SochiProblems. Thankfully, Hansen didn’t come running out of her room to show the wolf her trademark dance moves. Who knows how that would have ended.

UPDATE: The wolf was real, but the video was not. Another classic hoax from Jimmy Kimmel.

The Austrian hockey team is sorry for partying

Sorry-for-partyingThe Austrian national hockey team surprised everyone — themselves included — when they defeated Norway in the final game of group play at the Winter Olympics. The win came on the heels of an 8-4 loss against Finland and 6-0 loss to Canada, so you can understand why the team was excited. In hindsight, the Austrians probably could have taken the celebration down a notch.

According to EuroHockey.com, the Austrians went out partying after beating Norway 3-1 and did not return until 6:00 a.m. Less than two days later, they were knocked out of the tournament with a 4-0 loss to Slovenia. Austria head coach Manny Viveiros said he was stunned by his team’s behavior.

“We had a real chance to reach the quarterfinals I don’t know why this happened, especially before what is most likely the most important game for modern era Austrian ice hockey,” Viveiros said Wednesday. “It was a shock what happened after the game against Norway. I had no idea about it. I was shocked. We knew the players went there (Austria House) to eat something. But it was planned that they return to their rooms right afterwards.”

Viveiros said the names of the players who took part in the drink-a-thon will be published and “there will be consequences.” The Austrian team featured three NHL players — Michael Grabner, Michael Raffl and captain Thomas Vanek. They released a letter apologizing for their behavior, which was translated by Deadspin.

“We know that this behavior is not a professional one, yet we think this did not influence our performance against Slovenia in any way or form, the disappointing team effort was the reason for the loss,” the NHLers wrote. “We are aware of our role as role models and should have moved the celebrations to the evening after our last tournament play…

“We are at the end of the day just people who make mistakes, and we want to sincerely apologize for the negative impression that may have arisen in the public.”

Austrian Ice Hockey Federation president Dieter Kalt added that Viveiros’ decision to choose Vanek as captain to have an experience player leading the way “obviously went wrong.”

We have heard plenty of stories about the, ahem, fun activities that take place in the Olympic Village, but rarely do we hear about athletes partying so hard that it may have affected their performance. You drink the booze, you lose.

American-born snowboarder Vic Wild wins gold medal for Russia


Olympic snowboarder Vic Wild was born and raised in White Salmon, Wash. Yes, the Washington that’s located on the west coast of the United States of America. Why, then, did Wild drape the Russian flag over his shoulders after winning a gold medal in the parallel giant slalom on Wednesday?

Wild is a citizen of Russia. He moved to the country in 2011 after becoming fed up with the US Ski and Snowboard Association’s lack of commitment to parallel slalom snowboarding. Instead, the US has been more focused on freestyle and halfpipe.

“I had no money,” Wild told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week. “I wasn’t going to continue banging my head against the wall. … I told everybody in the Russian snowboard federation, ‘If you guys take me, you’ll never regret it.'”

Wild became a citizen after marrying Russian Olympic snowboarder Alyona Zavarzina. Before the Olympics began, he told NBC Sports that he does not consider himself to be an American anymore.

“I don’t even think about me being American anymore,” Wild said. “I’m Russian. I might not speak Russian fluently, and I might not totally understand the culture, but I live there. I’m not some American guy who lives in America and wants to snowboard for Russia because it’s easier. If anything, I went the hard way.”

While some will undoubtedly say that Wild abandoned his home country, the US Snowboarding team was quick to congratulate him after he took home the gold.

Wild knew what he wanted out of life, created a plan, and executed it to perfection. Who can blame him for that?

Russian head coach takes jab at Alex Ovechkin after loss to Finland

Alex-Ovechkin-RussiaSpoiler alert — the Russian national hockey team broke the hearts of its home fans on Tuesday at the Winter Olympics. Finland simply out-hustled the Russians and was the better team for three periods, advancing to the semifinals where they will take on Sweden. Alex Ovechkin was very little help in the 3-1 loss.

Ovechkin may have been fatigued, but there were several moments in the third period where he looked like he was not skating hard. Russian head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov was quick to call him out by name after his team was eliminated.

”Tough to explain the loss, of course, why scored so little,” Bilyaletdinov said, according to Puck Daddy. “Players who score so many goals for their clubs, like Alex Ovechkin who scored 40 goals for his club [didn’t score]… Right now I cannot explain that.”

Ovechkin scored 1:17 into Russia’s first game of the Olympics, and that ended up being his only goal of the tournament. He is currently leading all NHL scorers with 40 goals, so you can understand why his performance was disappointing.

A lot of the blame will be placed on Ovechkin’s shoulders, but he was not the only one who failed to fulfill expectations. In fact, plenty of people are blaming Bilyaletdinov for the loss against Finland since he chose to start goalie Semyon Varlamov over Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped all seven shots he faced after Varlamov was pulled.

Ovechkin may have been expected to carry the team, but the disappointment is shared from top to bottom. Winning in front of the home fans isn’t always easy. Russia showed us that in Sochi.

Vladimir Putin can’t be happy about Russia being eliminated by Finland


Many considered Russia to be the favorite to take home the gold medal in men’s hockey with the Winter Olympics taking place in their home country, but Alexander Ovechkin and company were a shocking disappointment. Finland defeated Russia 3-1 in the elimination rounds and crushed Russian president Vladimir Putin’s dreams in the process.

While Russia only managed to score one goal with what was supposed to be a potent offense, head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov is already taking the most heat for starting goalie Semyon Varlamov over Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky stopped all seven shots he faced after entering the game, including two spectacular saves late in the third period.

To make matters worse, Evgeni Malkin said after the game that he was the one who told Bilyaletdinov to pull Varlamov after he let in his third goal. Bobrovsky started for Russia against Norway and recorded a shutout to help his team advance to the quarterfinals. Varlamov had a shutout the game before against Slovakia, so both had been playing well.

Russia jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Tuesday before Varlamov let in a relatively soft goal:

As they often say in sports, hindsight is 20-20.

Photo via Twitter/Melanie Collins
GIF via @PeteBlackburn

Skier Emil Hegle Svendsen almost cost himself gold medal by pulling a DeSean Jackson

Norwegian cross-country skier Emil Hegle Svendsen took home a gold medal in the 15km biathlon on Tuesday. The race required a photo finish that would not have been necessary if Svendsen waited another second to celebrate.

As he approached the finish line after a race that took longer than 42 minutes, Svendsen raised his arms in triumph. You can certainly understand being overwhelmed with joy after winning a nine-mile race, but the premature celebration nearly cost Svendsen the gold. France’s Martin Fourcase, who was hustling to the finish line, almost passed Svendsen at the last second.


As some of you may know, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson cost his team touchdowns twice by celebrating early. Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan did the same exact thing in the first game of the 2013 NFL season. Fortunately for Svendsen, he had just enough of a lead for it to not cost him. I’m sure he’ll realize how bad it could have been when he watches the replay.

GIF and screenshot via USA Today

Canadian bobsledder Heather Moyse takes a hot bath in a trash can


The Sochi Olympics have had plenty of problems when it comes to housing athletes, but you can’t really blame Olympic officials for not having bath tubs. Adults typically take showers. But when Canadian bobsledder Heather Moyse needed a hot bath to relax her muscles over the weekend, she found a way to improvise.

“No bath tubs in the Mountain Village … So just chillin’ in a garbage bin doing a hot Epsom salt ‘bath’!” Moyse wrote on Twitter along with the photo you see above.

Please tell me that was an unused trash bin. A poll from the Toronto Sun revealed that 36% of people would do the same thing Moyse did, compared to 20% who wouldn’t. The other 44% said it would depend on how clean the trash can was.

Did the voters take stuff like Russian officials spying on showers and athletes getting stuck in bathrooms into consideration? That would probably skew the numbers a bit. Maybe Moyse is onto something.

H/T Fourth Place Medal