The Sochi Tragicomedy, in Meme Form

The Internet is abuzz with news from Sochi, and it ain't about the competition

Well, folks, the Sochi Games are underway and all anyone can talk about is the American sweep of the brand-new snowboard slopestyle competition, sans Shaun White. (Congrats to Sage Kostenburg and Jamie Anderson, by the way.)

Just kidding! The controversies surrounding Sochi have virtually overwhelmed coverage of the competition itself, and, predictably, have become a meme factory.

It’s easy to point and laugh, but the problems are real and almost too numerous to count: at an estimated $50 billion, the Sochi Olympics are mind-bogglingly—maybe even obscenely—expensive; they’re being held on the outskirts of a volatile region with a history of terrorism—in a temperate, palm tree-lined city that’s being called Russia’s Miami; poor neighborhoods have been bulldozed to build hotels for the influx of visitors, but even as the Games are underway, those “hotels” are still hazardous construction sites; stray dogs roam the city and are being rounded up and killed; and, of course, there is Russia’s anti-“gay propaganda” law.

Maybe gawking is a sane response. Below are a few of the recent memes highlighting the tragicomic nature of the Sochi Games.


It all started with this tweet:

Before long, more pictures of Sochi’s dysfunctional toilets (and hilarious signage) were making the rounds:

[Image va Facebook/Sergey Antonov]


After getting trapped in his hotel bathroom, one U.S. bobsledder took matters into his own hands:


Oh, and cats, too:


[Animated gif via Gawker]

Which spawned some spinoffs, a few of which were collected by BuzzFeed:

[Image via Mashable]

And a putative ad:


After receiving a lower-than-expected score, U.S. figure skater Ashley Wagner was captured on camera responding:

[Animated gif via Deadspin]

Only 13 more days left, people. Let's hope this is the worst of it.


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