Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Olympic Snowboarders Mug Shots - Why all the sad faces?

I thought I'd have a look around the snowboarder profiles on the Sochi Olympics site and two things struck me; firstly, the website was full of interesting glitches which made this process very tricky (but that seems to be a standard for this Olympics), and secondly, why do all the snowboarders look so damn grumpy?

This is supposed to be the pinnacle of their careers, but thay all look like they're being processed through a Gulag. For example these are the first 32 snowboarders that came up when I trawled the site:

Not a single happy face among them.

Actually it is a bit of an exaggeration. There was one exception: Nikita Avtaneev, from Russia, is having a fucking great time
as is his fringe

Instead of just presenting a depressing array of glum snowboarder faces, we've selected two groups of snowboarders to take a closer look at to see if we can solve this quandary...

Part 1 - The Olympics Most Wanted

Maybe they're sad because they're all going straight to jail.

Certified Lady Killer
22, Italy
Nickname: The Gypsy 
(that's what his profile says)

Chin Molestation
26, France
Education: Geography

'Merika - Fuck yeah!
21, Finland
Hobbies: Golf

Handily the Dutch team are rocking prison overalls

DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
26, Netherlands

Convicted of having a tiny head and a massive face
27, Italy
Ambitions: To compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Freakishly Shiney Norendal
20, Norway
Most influential person in career: Her mother.

Albino Religious Assassin
25, Finland
Hobbies: Tennis, golf, spending time with friends.

Handling stolen goods
21, Sweden
Coach: Jocke Hammar

Not his first offence
27, USA
Superstitions / Rituals: He usually wears a bandanna around his face while snowboarding. (He snowboards blindfolded? How good is this guy?)

Part 2 - Adopt a Snowboarder

While I was staring at all the miserable mug shots, I spotted some particularly sad faces - the few lonely snowboarders who are the only ones representing their country. Maybe they're sad because they are lonely? If you haven't got someone to support at the upcoming festival of nationalism, why not consider one of these five...

(Andorra) - Snowboard Cross
Lluis, 25, comes from the tiny land-locked principality of Andorra. It's the sixth smallest country in Europe and the other country saddled with the partial-leadership of serial philanderer and useless President of France, Fran├žois Hollande.

They do have some form in the sporting arena. According to the sports section of Wikipedia, "Andorra is famous for the practice of Winter Sports and Roller Hockey." And it goes on, "In 2012, Andorra raised its first national cricket team and played a home match against the Dutch Fellowship of Fairly Odd Places Cricket Club." They lost.

Lluis is currently 24th in the current FIS boardercross rankings, so you might get lucky and see him on the telly coverage.

He was the flag bearer for Andorra during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Adopt a Lluis this winter, he's Andorrable

(Belgium) - Slopestyle

Belgium: famous for fictional detectives, European political bureaucracy, chocolate and statutes of pissing children; not so famous for it's mountains or snowboarders. Despite all that Seppe Smits is quality; he was 4th in the X Games big air in 2014 and 2013, 10th in the slopestyle in 2014, but 3rd last year, and to top off his credentials he was the Antwerp Sport Figure of the Year in both 2010 and 2011!

Adopt a Seppe this year, he's got a decent change of being a podium botherer.

(Brasil) - Snowboard Cross
Isabel first tried snowboarding in 1994 at age 18 after going to visit her brother in California. It was the first time she'd seen snow. Now twenty years later she's having, what must surely be, her last go for Olympic glory.

Like Lluis she was the flag bearer for her country, she's actually done it twice at the 2006 Turin games and the 2010 Vancouver games. She's not a bad snowboarder either, she's currently 12th in the FIS boardercross rankings and she was ninth in the 2006 Turin Olympics.

Adopt an Isable this games - At the ripe old snowboarder age of 37, and with Terje avoiding the Olympics because he's too old, or something like that, Isabel has got to be the go-to choice of the more mature rider..

(Ireland) - Slopestyle & Halfpipe

At the other end of the scale is this cheeky chap who is representing Ireland at the tender age of 16. He was born and raised in the US, but seeing that qualification was going to be a little bit competitive he tried to find some other way of getting to the party. He was also eligible to represent Russia through his mother, and Great Britain through his father, but again the competition was a bit too much, so finally he made the decision to proudly compete for his forth choice; Ireland where his grandparents were born.

He's got no chance of winning a medal, but Seamus is the adoption choice for everyone who's now busy scouring their family history for any evidence of a historic family tie to some obscure Eastern European state.

And you're final adoption choice is...
(Kazakhstan) - Parallel Slalom (is that still an event?)

Valeruya, 25, will become the first Kazakh athlete to compete in a snowboard event at an Olympic Winter Games. She's 39th in the current FIS standings, so she's not got much chance of winning a medal, but you should consider adopting a Valeruya for Sochi, because of two things:

1. She has a lovely website

That's a coincidence, snowboarder is my star sign too.

& 2...

Well, that's 50% of you decided then.

So to summarise, I don't have any idea why all the Olympics snowboarders look so miserable. Any ideas?

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  1. Now there's a woman that knows how to carry a board.

  2. Maybe it's because they were saving money by using the picture for their passports too:

  3. Good idea, the money is much better spent on bribes

  4. Hmm.......I think I'll take up snowboarding. And if I have time, I may even slide down a mountain.

  5. Actually, it looks like the website just used the same pictures that they used for the athletes' credentials which had to conform to the same standards as a passport photo. It's really hard to look happy in a passport photo.


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