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Have Big Macs ruined Russian sports?

At FP, we’ve been following Russia’s soul-searching  following its subpar Olympic performance. This has included the sacking the country’s sports minister and the admission by Prime Minsiter Vladimir Putin that funds may have been misspent.  But, as RFE reports, a group of young nationalist activists sees a different (American, naturally) culprit:  On March 3, a ...

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At FP, we’ve been following Russia’s soul-searching  following its subpar Olympic performance. This has included the sacking the country’s sports minister and the admission by Prime Minsiter Vladimir Putin that funds may have been misspent. 

But, as RFE reports, a group of young nationalist activists sees a different (American, naturally) culprit: 

On March 3, a handful of activists from Zdravmol, a youth organization and a joint project of the Federal Agency for Youth Policy and the obstreperous youth movement Nashi, gathered in front of a Moscow McDonald’s and chanted: “Thank you, McDonald’s, for our 11th ranking.” They were venting their anger at one of Russia’s poorest medal tallies ever at a Winter Olympics – only three golds at the Vancouver games.

Zdravmol was founded in December 2009 with the aim of raising awareness of health matters among young people. Flash mobs are among its favorite tactics.

This time, they were not frightening smokers on the street but reenacting the Winter Games dressed as obese Olympians, within a stone’s throw of the Olympic sports complex. The site was aptly chosen, although they had to postpone their picketing and revamp their posters as Russia slid ever further down the medals table.

I don’t suppose it occured to these folks that Americans and Canadians eat an awful lot of McDonalds too. We even have commercials  promising us that chicken nuggets are the path to Olympic glory.

Check out Nashi’s site for a write-up of the protest (in Russian) and more pictures. 

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