Fourth-Place Medal By Jay Busbee 9 hours ago
Throughout the Sochi Games, we’ll be answering your most pressing questions, both thoughtful and ridiculous. This is one of those latter ones. Got a question? Email us and we’ll get the Y-Team on the case.
Was the engineer responsible for the Olympic rings malfunction found dead?
If there’s one thing more pervasive on the Internet than hack jokesters, it’s gullible readers. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, folks … except what you see here at Yahoo, of course.
By now, you’ve probably heard of or seen the technical glitch at Friday’s Opening Ceremony. Five snowflakes were supposed to transform into the Olympic rings, and four of the snowflakes did their job admirably. The fifth, clearly, wasn’t ready to leave the world stage.
Whoops! Ah, well. Embarrassing mistake, but it happens. Except: combine that with Russia’s well-documented history for crushing dissent and perpetrating an image of superior stability. (Indeed, Russian TV didn’t even show the glitch, opting to sub in rehearsal footage instead.) Presto: easy joke material about how the responsible parties would be sent to Siberia for embarrassing Mother Russia.
So when your mom forwarded you the article entitled “Man Responsible For Olympic Mishap Found Dead In Sochi,” well, it seemed perfectly believable for such a sinister part of the world, yes?
“According to local reports the body of Boris Avdeyev was found his hotel room early this morning with multiple stab wounds,” ran the report in The Daily Currant. “Avdeyev was a technical specialist responsible for the Olympic Ring spectacle, which embarrassingly malfunctioned last night … Although his body was badly mangled and the wounds were consistent with a struggle, so far officials say they don’t suspect foul play.”
All right, if that last sentence didn’t tip you off, as well as the fact that no other media source other than your Facebook feed ran this story, tell your mom: this is a hoax, people. The Daily Currant is a satire website specializing in snaring suckers with the stories they desperately want to believe (Example: “Marijuana overdoses kill 37 in Colorado on first day of legalization.”) This one’s fairly absurd, but enough people are reacting with that trepidation familiar to pro wrestling (“This has to be fake … right?”) that it’s your duty to stamp out the falsehood.
So what really happened? The Telegraph talked to Konstantin Ernst, the creative director for the Opening Ceremony on Saturday. He offered a poetic defense of the mishap:
“Zen Buddhists have this idea that when you have a perfectly polished sphere, you should leave a notch in it so you can understand just how perfectly it is polished,” Ernst said. “In technical terms the rings were the simplest thing in the whole show. They turned out to be our notch … This is certainly bad, but it does not humiliate us.”
So there you go. Hoax debunked … well, except for the fact that Ernst didn’t actually say what did happen to the engineer responsible for the glitch. Hmmm ….
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.
I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil