Conan O’Brien proves that Russia isn’t as homophobic as you think

Just consider the Russian names of Olympic events.


Elizabeth Robinson

Internet Culture

Published Feb 4, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 7:20 pm CDT

The Winter Olympics begin Friday in Sochi, Russia, and most of the-pre games conversation has nothing to do with the games. Long-simmering anger over Russia’s treatment of homosexuals—including recent bans on so-called “homosexual propaganda”—has boiled over as the world’s attention zeroes-in on Sochi. Leave it to Conan O’Brien to prove that Russia isn’t as homophobic as we might think.

Featured Video Hide

“I find it odd that there’s so much homophobia there, especially when you learn the names that Russians have for the Olympic events,” O’Brien says. He proceeds to give a quick foreign language lesson, translating the Russian terms for some popular Olympic sports.

Advertisement Hide

“For example: Ski jumping is known as ‘Spreading Your Legs and Bending Forward for Glory.’”

“And finally,” O’Brien concludes, “men’s figure skating is known as men’s figure skating.”

Screengrab via Team Coco/YouTube

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 4, 2014, 7:31 pm CST