It feels like just yesterday that Ryan Lochte and his grill swam their way into our hearts, but, it’s time once again to rally around a new pantheon of athletic demigods. Sochi 2014 has been a long time coming, and, unless you have been living adrift on an ice flow, you have been hearing about the trials and tribulations leading up to this round of winter games.
There are a lot of us who don’t necessarily relate to the Olympics. The peak of our athletic careers consisted of four days in middle school when we were really excited about Wii Fit. We watch the Parade of Nations…for the fashion. The only thing we really remember about London 2012 is Tom Daley’s abs. Trust me; I get it. However, the Olympics are about more than just sports – they are about all sorts of things that Brown students love, like multiculturalism, community, and being really cold all the time. If you are someone who doesn’t like sports, here are a few ways that you can stay up-to-date and get into the Sochi spirit.
1) Play a Sochi Drinking Game
Get your friends together and turn a boring night of men’s curling (no offense to any curlers who may be reading this) into a viewing party! The rules are simple:
*For maximum authenticity, play using Russian vodka
Drink every time:
- The U.S. wins a medal (take a shot if we bring home the gold).
- It’s alleged that one of the Russian athletes is putzing Putin.
- You see the hashtag #Sochiproblems.
- You see something that deserves the hashtag #Sochiproblems.
- Russia’s anti-gay policies are referenced or alluded to.
- Anything even remotely homoerotic happens (tip: unless you want to PTFO, this should not be done while watching luge doubles…)
- A reporter/announcer/commentator complains about their accommodations (staying in a hotel with no lobby, getting electrocuted in the shower, using a backwards toilet seat, falling through the ceiling, etc.).
- Someone wipes out on the slopes or the ice.
- You can identify the background music during a figure skating event.
Down your drink if:
- The U.S. uniforms are the worst in the stadium/the word “POLO” is stitched large enough to be seen from Sputnik.
- Someone vocalizes that they “miss Shaun White’s hair” (really?).
- It’s warmer in Sochi than it is in Providence.
2) Movie Night – Winter Sports
If you’re totally opposed to watching the day’s athletic events, there are plenty of fun movies that will get you pumped for Sochi. When it comes to movies about winter sports, it’s time to face facts – you can’t do better than Disney Channel Originals. Stream The Mighty Ducks, Miracle, Ice Princess, Go Figure, Johnny Tsunami, or the real winner, Cool Runnings. Not only will you get stoked for the Olympics, you will also get a kick out of reviving these fan-favorites.
3) Move Night – The Motherland Calls
If you’re one of those people who was only in it for the opening ceremonies, stay in the Sochi spirit by watching everyone’s favorite should-be Disney cartoon, Anastasia. Like the opening ceremonies, it’s a revisionist history of Russia complete with singing and dancing — not to mention the fact that Dimitri is arguably the hottest of the animated princes. If your taste is a little more “sophisticated,” watch the 2012 film adaptation of the great Russian novel Anna Karenina, a visually stunning period piece in which Keira Knightley waltzes for 3 hours before getting the bronze in Avoiding an Oncoming Train – Women’s Singles.
4) Outdoor Recreation for the Indoor-Minded
You may not love organized sports, but you can still enjoy some fun outdoor winter activities, Sochi style. Grab a group of friends and go skating – you don’t have to be able to do a triple axel in a bedazzled leotard to enjoy an evening on the ice. The Providence Rink at the Bank of America City Center is only a 10 minute walk from College Hill. Rent skates for a low price and enjoy an evening under the lights of downtown Providence while the rink’s speaker system plays all the songs that you forgot were on your iPod. It’s just like being in Russia, except Sarah Palin can’t see you from her house!
If you have a day to spare and access to transportation, consider checking out the Yawgoo Valley Ski Area and Sports Park, located 35 minutes away from Providence in Exeter, RI. It’s the only ski area in the state, and it’s pretty much what you would expect for a state that’s almost entirely at sea level. You won’t find any double black diamonds, but prices are incredibly low, lessons are available for anyone who wants to learn how to ski or snowboard in a relaxed and manageable environment, and there is good snow tubing. If you have no athletic skill whatsoever but want to try hitting the slopes, this is a fun and low-key option.
5) From Russia with Love
The games are also converging with the holiday that everyone loves to hate and hates to love, Valentine’s Day. Keep the Olympic spirit alive over the long weekend by giving out Sochi themed valentines to your friends! Get creative, or use this one, courtesy of BlogDH!
The Olympics can be a particularly frustrating time for those of us who aren’t athletically inclined, but they only come once every two years. Enjoy the novelty, embrace the spectacle, and remember — nothing will ever be Beijing.