Sochi, Russia – The United States is sending its largest-ever contigent to a winter Olympics, with 230 athletes competing in Sochi. But there is a bigger story.
When the American Olympians enter the stadium at Friday’s opening ceremony, each will carry an open bottle of Russian vodka. As soon as they reach the front of the VIP stand, they will pour the vodka into the parade grounds.
The reason? It is to protest the embargo by the Russian government of a shipment of Chobani Greek yogurt which was supposed to be fed to the U.S. athletes while in Sochi. The yogurt shipment is in limbo at a New Jersey airport. The U.S. government has accused the Russians of using this nutritious food as a vehicle to show who’s in charge.
To counter the U.S. public protest, Russian officials have mandated that all American athletes undergo a blood test two hours before their respective scheduled competitions to detect even the slightest trace of vodka in their system. “Intimidation tactics,” one U.S. Olympic official said.