EDITORIAL: Russia picks a Fight with Canada


Russia picks a Fight with Canada

Always hear the same kind of story
Break their nose and they’ll just say “sorry”
Tell me what kind of freaks are that polite?
It’s gotta mean they’re all up to somethin’
So quick, before they see it comin’
Time for a pre-emptive strike!

“Canadian Idiot”
“Weird” Al Yancovic
“Straight Outta Linwood”

Faced with unimaginable athletic humiliation on the fields of play at the Vancouver Olympiad, Russians rapidly degenerated into even more humiliatingly childish name-calling directed at the host country, leaving the Russia’s Olympic legacy in utter ruin.  When you can’t think of anything to do but insult the sweet little Canadians, you may as well just give up.

As the second week of the Vancouver Olympiad wound down, the Canadian press was consumed with a February 19 op-ed in Pravda which offered nuggets of Russian wisdom such as “Vancouver is not fit to hold the Winter Olympics” and referring to “the abject cruelty shown by Canadian soldiers in international conflicts” and calling the Canadians “retentive” and “cowardly.”  Then this:  “Canada lives in the shadow of its larger neighbour to the south.”  Then he accused Canada of having an “inferiority complex, born of a trauma being the skinny and weakling bro to a beefy United States and a colonial outpost to the United Kingdom, whose Queen smiles happily from Canadian postage stamps.”

To speak about any Olympic host this way, much less a docile, self-effacing place like Canada, is the act of a true barbarian, and Russia has humiliated itself before the world by doing so. It richly deserves to have this outrageous abuse hurled back upon it if the Sochi games actually go forward, and we know that if it happens Russia will play the innocent victim in a way that will be even more vulgar and appalling than its crude insults to Canada.

18 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russia picks a Fight with Canada

  1. Russians are beyond immature. To save what little Russian dignity they might have left they had to profusely congratulate the Canadians.

    When Warren Buffett screws up a business deal he says that everybody warned him not to do it and he did it anyway. Therefore still respect Mr. Buffett. We do not respect Russians.

  2. And, it is reported that a pouting Medvedev decided against going to Vancouver for the closing of the Olympics because Russia was disappointed with their athletes performance and medal count: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/25/bc-russian-president-cancels-visit.html.

    Pretty immature, eh. Your country is going to be hosting the next Olympics, but the President of the Russian Federation can’t be bothered to officially welcome the Olympics as you are disappointed because your athletes couldn’t live up to your propaganda. That is what you can call “good sportsmanship.”

    Living in the shadow of the USA? Well, somebody should tell the “reporters” at Pravda that it is CANADA that set the new world record as to the largest number of gold medals won by a single country, beating the record set by the Soviet Union in 1976 and matched by Norway in 2002.

    Let’s see if Russia can do better in Sochi.

    P.S. Canada also beat the pants off the Russians who were unable to play as a team.

  3. As a Canadian, I take it as a point of pride that Pravda/Russia is insulting us. It would sicken me if they were complementing us and praising our armed forces (whom they attempted to starve out by cutting their supply lines via bribery – a plot which failed as quickly as everything else Russia does). There are just certain people and groups that you don’t want saying nice things about you. I wish someone would tell Obamacrats this.

  4. Also we Americans/Canadians know very well that we would never point and laugh at the teams that shall we say “underperformed”, whether it’s Russia or Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast as this is supposed to be the most peaceful sports event evah. And if the Russians left the games quitely- noone would ever even mentioned their lack of fortune. But they justHAD TO walk right into the middle of the dining room and take a dump, so every one would look.

    • Val,

      Could you please remind me what exactly “the Russians” did in the Olympics that would constitute “walking right into the middle of the dining room and taking a dump”? And whom do you mean by “the Russians”? The guy named Plushenko who complained about figure skating judging? The Moscow Symphony Orchestra that dared to perform at the Closing Ceremony? The ballet dancers? The opera singer? I assure you that it is a common practice for the representatives of the next Olympics to perform at the Closing Ceremony.

      • Moron, I mean Arthur, oops right first time….

        The bad sportsmanship shown by Russian Olympians, politicians, media, and the public is what Val is referring to.

  5. Russia is the world champion of public dumping!

    From the drunk bum who repeatedly craps in your stairwell up to the President and Prime-Minister who hurl faeces in the face of the civilised world, there is no greater exponent of crap-artistry!

    Slava Russia! The ”Dumpster” of civilisation!

  6. Not only did the Russians come out looking like sore losers but they win the “Platium Medal” for having no class and sore heads. Get a life Russia and stop being so immature, and another thing stop cheating.

  7. Hey Russia, the world knows you have no class, when you jump up and down and are happy that one of your competitors just crashed it show what you are. Yuk, you are beneath human comprehension. Before you point out the speck in Canada’s eye look at the forest in yours.

    You Russians are pathetic at best.

  8. Yes, it was inexcusably rude. There was absolutely no substance to the author’s suggestions that if the medal was awarded to anyone other than a Russian, they must have used performance-enhancing drugs or otherwise cheated. Siickening at best, and…….not written by a Russian at all.

    The author, Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, is – as his name implies – an Englishman. A former songwriter when he still lived in the World’s Tiniest Empire (England), he has been a writer for Pravda since 1975, and for the record, is every bit as insulting and inaccurate when criticizing the United States.

    I wasn’t bothered. An insult from a fool is a compliment. Pravda just keeps him around like a pet monkey, printing his spittle-flecked rants when they crave something amusing.

  9. “Well, somebody should tell the “reporters” at Pravda that it is CANADA that set the new world record as to the largest number of gold medals won by a single country, beating the record set by the Soviet Union in 1976 and matched by Norway in 2002. ”

    Yes, I’m pretty proud of Canada’s performance, too. However, just in the interest of keeping it real, how many gold medals in all were awarded in 1976? I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up – 35. How many gold medals were awarded in 2010? 85. So in 1976, the Soviet Union won nearly half of all gold medals awarded; a feat that would equate to the 2010 winner taking home something like 33 gold medals. Nobody came close to that, obviously.

    • You would also have to take into consideration how many countries participated in the 1976 Olympics and how many countries are now competitive in the 1976 Olympics. Now, you have countries that China that are emerging as Olympic powerhouses, something that was not true in 1976.

  10. the russians are a vulgar people; most canadians can recall their disgraceful antics after upsetting canada to win the world ice hockey championships in halifax in 2008 and that may not have been the worst example of russian boorishness on ice. The americans are arrogant in the extreme (and more than a little condescending) but it is hard to imagine a group of american athletes behaving as badly as the russians habitually do on the international stage.

    The russians, frankly, are a semi-barbarous people.

  11. That’s perfectly true; there were a lot of variables that make it impossible to directly compare the 1976 and 2010 Winter Games – not least of which is the fact that the big winner in ’76 was the Soviet Union, and not Russia proper. I’m just suggesting that the former Soviet Union achieved a remarkable standard by winning nearly half the gold medals awarded.

    Then again, the Soviet Union of the day was known for playing athletes who were serving members of the Red Army, and not – strictly speaking – amateurs. While not technically professional athletes, their standard of fitness was far above that of the average amateur athlete.

    These days the hockey powerhouse teams are all NHL members, so the original intent of pitting new talent against the same standard of other countries has been lost, at least in some sports. I note, however, that China – with little tradition in winter sports, finished in 8th place with 11 medals overall. Doubtless they will do considerably better in the Summer Games.

  12. “The russians, frankly, are a semi-barbarous people.”

    “…working for a common goal: To see Russia become a prosperous, democratic, contributing member of the world community — rather than the scourge, blight and nuisance that it is now.”

    You don’t see a bit of a dichotomy in those two statements? How are you going to arrive at a prosperous, democratic contributor to the world community in a country where the people are all semi-barbaric? Kill them all, and start over? Bus settlers in from Indiana?

    Maybe you meant that the portion of the Russian population you’ve personally observed are semi-barbaric. All right, let’s look at that a little. The Russians won that game in overtime. Maybe they were a little cocky, like athletes are when they win: maybe it offended you. If so, that’s, what? Less than 20 people, including spares who weren’t even on the ice. The behavior of those individuals is representative of a population of better than 145 million?

    If so, what’d you think of the way the American men’s team acted in Vancouver last week, when they also lost in overtime? Sullen, ungracious, most didn’t even look at the presenter as they received their silver medals; few said “Thank you”, and none smiled. During the gold medal presentations, they slouched on the ice in poses of indifference.

    Is that performance representative of a population of over 308 million, do you think?

    • Yes, behavior of 20 people is indeed representative of the entire population. Russia desperately tries to prove it’s best in everything, culture, science, education, food, mysterious Russian soul, you name it, they are best at it. Sports is just one of those things they are supposed to be best at. Never mind Russia really is a barbaric Third World nation (none of that “semi-” stuff). Pride, that’s what counts. No wonder, rare wins engender such savage celebrations, and frequent losses lead to less than sportsmanlike conduct.

      As for our team in Vancouver, did a single American hockey player publicly say that he deserved to win but lost because of defective or anti-American rules? Did any of them say, for example, that losing in overtime does not count? Did any of them say they got platinum medals? Did the President of the United States send them a message that stated that their silver medal is equal to gold?

      By the way, had Americans smiled when receiving silver, they would have been accused of, well, … smiling. On this board, there was an accusation leveled against Americans that we smile too much.

  13. Mark,

    But Team USA’s behaviour has improved from the traditional “sour grapes” performances in the past:


    US men’s hotel vandalism

    An unknown number of players on the U.S. men’s hockey team trashed their rooms at the Olympic athlete’s village on February 19 morning, after they were eliminated from the Olympic tournament by losing to the Czech Republic 4-1 about 10 hours earlier. Ten chairs were broken, and three fire extinguishers were emptied inside three apartments. Six of the chairs and one of the fire extinguishers were then thrown from the fifth floor into the courtyard below. One door was dented, as were several walls. Floors and beds were also damaged. No one has ever confessed and no one has ever been punished. “That wasn’t anything,” thundered U.S. assistant coach Lou Vairo. “Who hasn’t broken a few chairs? I bet you guys [the media] have busted some furniture when you see the wife’s credit card bill at the end of the month.”


    The world’s worst hotel guests

    14. 1998 U.S. Men’s Hockey Team
    Rock stars are expected to perpetuate a certain degree of chaos, but Olympic athletes are better known for early bedtimes. Of course, this doesn’t apply to NHL players, who were admitted to the Games for the first time in 1998. On the night the U.S. team lost to the Czech Republic in the Nagano games, they presumably spent the night partying before returning to their hotel room inside the Olympic Village. The Associated Press reported that they allegedly broke ten chairs, emptied three fire extinguishers in the room, dented a door, and threw a bunch of the chairs and fire extinguishers into a courtyard below. But perhaps it was all just an accident, as team member Jeremy Roenick tried to claim. “The chairs and furniture that we had were definitely not made for NHL players,” he told the Chicago Tribune at the time. “The chairs would fall apart right there, just sitting on them.” After which they would levitate and launch themselves out of a window. Right.


    Hockey brats’ silence adds to U.S. shame
    Chicago Sun-Times
    March 12, 1998
    You can hear them giggling and tee-heeing already, like sneaky brats in a backyard treehouse. The little boys of the U.S. Olympic hockey team – a k a the Village Idiots, Team Kirin, the Nightmare Team – sense they’re starting to weasel out of their international mess.

  14. “On this board, there was an accusation leveled against Americans that we smile too much.”

    Not from me. North Americans in general are a smiley lot, customarily open and friendly, and like to call you by your first name within 10 minutes of meeting you. Europeans and Asians are normally more reserved – consequently we sometimers find them stand-offish or snobby. I’ve met Americans who I’d rank among the finest people on earth, nearly fit for sainthood, and I’ve met Americans I couldn’t forget fast enough. Ditto the English, French, Portuguese and on and on. I’ve never met anyone about whom I’d say, “VR is the archetypical American – all Americans are like VR”.

    Neither are all Russians like Plushenko; suggesting they are is just crazy. Plushenko is a superior athlete – not 2% of male figure skaters can perform the quad jump. However, at least in this most recent competition, that’s more or less all Plushenko’s program was about. If that’s all there was to it, the judges would have just lined everyone up and said, “All right, everybody do a quad jump. Can’t do it? OK, Plushenko wins.” The judges defended their decision by acknowledging that Evan Lysacek had skated a simpler program, but had done it better and exhibited more overall skill and control, and they were right. Plushenko has become vain during his years as a professional athlete, and his ego made him speak and behave stupidly. There have been other similar incidents – remember the pairs competition at Salt Lake City, when the French judge admitted being pressured to vote for the Russian pair in spite of her considered opinion that the Canadians had skated a better program? It’s worth mentioning she admitted the pressure had originated with her national federqation, not the Russians, although it’s likely a deal was struck. Still, the Russians were mocking and contemptuous when the Canadian pair was issued a second gold medal. That’s unsportsmanlike. The Olympics is perhaps not the best example of sporting competition, because international prestige is on the line and some nations react immaturely when they don’t receive recognition they believe they merited.

    Anyway, Plushenko fell into the trap of believing he was some kind of God, and couldn’t believe everyone didn’t see his performance as Godlike, just because he can do a quad jump. His reaction was overemotional and immature. But it doesn’t represent a widespread national attitude, or even a regional one. People are the sqame everywhere – you can sell a few of them on the idea their country was robbed, but most accept defeat philosophically, especially when they saw the entire performance with their own eyes. It’s much easier to whip up people’s prejudices if you have some influence and if they’re in a position where they have to take your word for it. I know my in-laws phoned from Russsia to congratulate me after Canada smashed the Russian men’s hockey team, and I see that as more representative of a national attitude. They’re not happy they lost, but they know the best reaction is to be a good sport.

    Perhaps the Russian president did openly support Plushenko; I don’t know. If he did, that makes him look foolish, because he clearly lost. It was my understanding that Plushenko awarded himself the “platinum medal “, but even if it was bestowed on him by his president, how is that worse than President Bush awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to George Tenet, whose recommendation that WMD’s in Iraq were a “slam dunk” is now acknowledged to have been pure fabrication and which propelled the U.S. A. into a cripplingly expensive war which destroyed its international credibility?

    I’m not suggesting the Russians are perfect and that everyone else is evil. Everyone has their faults, and all nations have skeletons in their closets of which they are, or should be, ashamed. Nonetheless, the actions and behaviors of the few do not typify the greater population.

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