Just weeks ago the resort town of Sochi was center stage, hosting the Winter Olympics. Now, with the close of the Paralympic Games, its time in the international spotlight is up—until 2018 when it hosts some World Cup soccer, anyway. The Gabbler sat down with Sochi after the Paralympic Closing Ceremonies and talked sports, fame, ethnic cleansing, and, of course, the greatness of Mother Russia.
The Gabbler: Hi, Sochi! It’s so nice to meet you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me!
Sochi: You’re welcome Miss Gabbler. It’s always an honor to represent the world’s greatest country-Russia!
TG: Umm, yeah, I suppose it is. Well, let’s get right into it. What’s it like being the host city for the first Winter Olympics ever held in Russia, a country famous for its winters?
S: It is great honor! To show the world the power, the genius, the incredible superiority of the Russian people has been my greatest pleasure.
TG: Well, not to be THAT guy, Sochi, but didn’t the Winter Olympics really highlight some of Russia’s shortcomings? Like the fact that it took $50 billion, more money than has ever been spent on an Olympic games, to get you ready ? Or the concern for LGBT athletes in light of a recent Russian law that bans promoting “homosexual propaganda to minors,” whatever that means?
S: Did Russia not win the most medals? Did we not dominate every sport? While you puny Americans came in fourth! Fourth! We won five more medals than you. You won less medals than Canada, a weak nation known only for being “SOOO nice” as you Americans would put it. You are pathetic and weak.
TG: Woah, Sochi. Back down a little. I didn’t mean to insult you. I’m just a hard-hitting journalist, you know? Trying to dig deep to get the good story.
S: You think you are hard-hitting? You are puny, baby reporter. I’m Russian. I show you hard-hitting. When Russian hit you hard, then we need to dig deep. To make your grave.
TG: OKAY. I get it. You’re a super tough Russian. The evil empire and all that, marching through Ukraine like it’s any of your business.
S: Oh, how original, an American criticizing Russia for invading the Ukraine. Big surprise. You Americans always hate when anyone else invades a nearby country, but you have no problem “bringing democracy” to Iraq and Afghanistan. You are original evil empire.
TG: Well you’re really coming out swinging here. But don’t you have a vulnerable side? Like, weren’t you a little bit worried that in a country with Siberia, the Olympic Committee decided to hold the Winter Olympics in one of Russia’s only subtropical locations, where the temperature is averages 50 degrees in the winter months?
S: I am PROUD to be subtropical. You know who liked my subtropics? Man of Steel, Josef Stalin himself. He was the first one to believe in me! To tell the world, to tell all of Russia, “Come to Sochi! Breathe the seaside air!” And now look at me, I am hosting the Olympics. And soon the Russian Grand Prix. And in 2018, I will host World Cup soccer games. I have arrived!
TG: Ohhhh, I get it. No wonder you’re super loyal to Russia. It’s all the money they’ve spent on you, the resort visitors and sports tourists that they’re bringing you. Without it, you would just be some one horse town, hidden south of the Caucus.
S: “One horse town?” We don’t need horses! We will have Grand Prix! These are race cars with many horse powers! But, yes, Russia has found me worthy of investment. She has grown my city from a small seaside village, an outpost of the Ottoman Empire into a great city!
TG: Correct me if I’m wrong, but, okay, so you weren’t always Russian, then, right? You were a ceded territory after the Caucasian War in the 19th century?
S: Correct. But I was not Sochi, then. I was just a Dakhovsky, and I was ruled by barbarians. Russia saved me, just like Russia will save the Ukraine. Without Russia, I would be just one more Middle Eastern country at war with itself.
TG: Barbarians? Don’t you mean the Circassians? Who were killed en masse and forcibly removed from the area by your precious Mother Russia in the 1860s, introducing the world to the modern day understanding of ethnic cleansing?
S: I do not know what you speak of. Russia charitably gave these people passage to the Ottoman Empire. This is generosity, not genocide. It is a free trip to new lands! So fun!
TG: Ummm, or it’s not. But, moving on to happier things. What are you looking forward to, now that the Olympics and the Paralympics are over and you can finally relax a bit?
S: Relax? I cannot relax! The Grand Prix is coming! And the World Cup is almost here!
TG: Well, yeah, the 2014 World Cup, hosted by Brazil is almost here, but you have some time before 2018, I think.
S: No time! I cannot disappoint Russia!
TG: Okay. But are you excited about the World Cup? Nervous about hosting after Brazil, a country legendary for its soccer skills?
S: Nervous?! Pah! Brazil is nothing to Russia. You know last World Cup that Brazil hosts in 1950 they lose to Uruguay? Uruguay, a puny, baby nation!
TG: Yeah, true. But they’ve since won five World Cups. How many has Russia won?
S: Haha, you are so funny with your mean American sense of humor. But Russia will rise again. And I believe that the United States have won as many World Cups as we have.
TG: Incorrect. Our men’s team may never have won a World Cup, but our women have won two.
S: Women cannot play soccer! This is ridiculous! Women’s World Cups do not count!
TG: Okay, Sochi. Well, I’m going to let you get back to honoring Mother Russia. But thanks for taking the time to speak with me, and hopefully I’ll see you again at the 2018 World Cup!
S: Thank you. But please do not come back unless you are prepared to watch Russia destroy your puny United States soccer team!