Sure, the hotels aren’t finished and there are stray dogs roaming the streets, but organizers of the Sochi Winter Olympics got most of the priority items done on time.
Like this official government-sanctioned lingerie photoshoot, intended to whip up patriotic support for Russian athletes … or deflect attention from the myriad other controversies surrounding the games.
A dozen Russian female athletes (but no men) from such sports as ski jumping, hockey and figure skating posed for the series, which showed up on a Russian website this week.
And not all are strangers to modeling: the photo above shows Anna Sidorova, skip of Russia’s women’s curling team and well-known sports celeb who has posed provocatively in the past. Interestingly, five of the women who participated in this shoot are from the women’s curling team. Cue the “Hurry Hard!” jokes.
It’s easy to see this as another illustration of Russia’s appallingly chauvinistic official culture, until you remember that plenty of other women athletes (and national teams) from other countries have gained attention by stripping for the cameras — whether to promote themselves, an upcoming competition or a worthy charity.
Lest we forget, the image above was from a much-publicized charitable project just before the London 2012 Summer Olympics, in which British women athletes posed in luxurious skivvies provided by Nichole De Carle.
Sex, apparently, is the universal sport.
Now, here is a sampling of images featuring Russia’s Olympians. See if you recognize them over the next two weeks, once the helmets and uniforms go on.