My week in Sochi

I was, of course, delighted when the BBC asked me commentate on this year’s Winter Olympics. Having failed to qualify myself from a field of three British competitors in my discipline, it is just great to be here among the athletes, soaking up the atmosphere. Sadly, I have to report that the current Olympiad is being staged in the most backward, corrupt and god-awful place on Earth.

This was all made clear to me when I arrived in Sochi. Or ‘So Cheesy’, as my fellow commentators and I have taken to calling it. The local food is basically just beetroot and potato. The hotel rooms are exactly how I imagine emergency bed-and-breakfast accommodation for welfare scroungers looks like, with the brown, bacteria-riddled water puking only fitfully from the curtainless shower on to the barely finished floor. The whole place is basically a military prison. So, no different to the rest of Russia, I suppose. Let me tell you, I’ve been absolutely caning social media with photos from my room. Hashtag “sochiproblems”!

The event I am commentating on has sadly received very little attention, but it is a genuinely novel addition to the Olympic programme: the freestyle snowboard biathlon. Competitors slip gracefully downhill carrying what is essentially a sniper rifle, pull off a variety of jumps, twists, spins and other tricks, before shooting at some targets halfway down, then racing to the bottom against the clock. It’s a test of skill, speed and cool-headed marksmanship. Pay no heed to those sniping – geddit? – critics who have described it as a made-up sport for European poshos who aren’t good enough to get into the skiing events. Expect to see it featured in the next Bond film, that’s all I’m saying.

Of course, it can be dangerous. The Swiss competitor – Jurgen, er, Whateverhisnameis – forgot to put on the safety catch on his rifle and shot himself in the foot while landing a particularly big jump. To be fair, the slope marshalls (or should it be MARTIAL!) did a brilliant job of whisking him off to hospital. The blood had been completely covered over by the time we stopped laughing. It meant Team GB got bronze! AMAZING!

The whole thing is a bit of a stitch-up, though. It was entirely predictable that the Russian competitor, Viktor Homophobich, should win gold. Okay, Viktor Homophobich isn’t actually his name, but our role as commentators is to provide insightful analysis of the event – because nobody back home has a clue what’s going on - backed up with satirical humour. No doubt the Russian authorities are bricking themselves in case some of the country’s downtrodden people catch a whiff of my iconoclastic commentary.

That’s why I’ve also taken to wandering around the Olympic Village in bright pink salopettes. Screw you, Johnny Red! I’m Jonny Pink! (Thank god we’re not staying in an actual Russian village, being fed yet more beetroot and potatoes by some toothless old crone, no doubt.) Well, you’ve got to make a stand against these gay-bashing bastards, haven’t you? Some of my best friends from the really very good private school I went to (modesty forbids me mentioning which one) are massive arse-bandits. (They bloody love being called arse-bandits, too! Great sense of humour, the gays. And so colourful!)

Perhaps the highlight of my stay, however, was meeting Clare Balding. She is AMAZING. She’s a massive lezzer, too, and proud of it. National treasure. So great that a lesbian can be accepted so openly by British people. Just her presence here is a massive pain in the arse for Vladimir Putin, though he should be used to discomfort in his chuff by now because he is so obviously in the closet.

Sadly, my time here is almost at an end. But if I have helped to shine a light on this dreadful country – even from the relative backwater of web-only coverage – I think I will have done the world a great service.


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