The next Winter Olympics is shaping up as a Cold War-style battle between Canada and Russia after a blistering editorial in Pravda labeled us as a nation of cowardly, incompetent war criminals.
The editorial, entitled Vancouver: Mutton Dressed as Lamb, goes straight for the eyes from the outset. “Vancouver is not fit to hold the Winter Olympics,” it declares in the opening paragraph.
And that was before Canada whipped Russia in the hockey quarter finals. Today, the site was less expansive.
“The Red Machine Runs into a Maple Tree,” was Pravda’s headline. Other newspaper banners across Russia included “Nightmare in Vancouver” and “Down and Out.”
Reading back on Pravda’s screed, the schadenfreude will be thick for Canadian supporters. The website’s main athletic complaint is about a short-notice drug test issued to Russian skier Natalya Korosteleva. It neglects to mention that VANOC organizers have no input into the drug-testing regime of any particular sporting body.
It also impugns us for the decision to give the gold medal in men’s figure skating to American Evan Lysacek over Russian Evgeni Plushenko – as if we had some say in that, either.
The writer, Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, seems mainly distressed by Canada’s political aims.
“We all know Canada has problems with the future lines drawn on Arctic maps and we all know Canada lives in the shadow of its larger neighbour to the south,” he writes about something we don’t all know.
Had he left it there, we might have shrugged it off. But then it gets personal...