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Rio de Janeiro unveils weird new Olympic and Paralympic mascots

Rio De Janeiro announced mascots for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and they are somehow cute, ageless hybrids of Brazilian wildlife.


Olympians Gus Kenworthy, Joss Christensen, and Nick Goepper compete in the EW Dating Games -- VIDEO

Their sport, ski slopestyle, made its Olympic debut in Sochi, so it’s only fitting that we asked Gus Kenworthy, Joss Christensen, and Nick Goepper to compete in our inaugural EW Dating Games. Also working in their favor: 19-year-old bronze medalist Goepper is currently holding his own dating contest on social media; 22-year-old silver medalist Kenworthy did the extremely swoonworthy act of rescuing a family of Sochi strays (he’ll keep puppies Rosa and Gorky, his brother will take puppy Jake, and their mother will have Mama); and soft-spoken 22-year-old gold medalist Christensen, it turns out, is hiding this under all that baggy clothing. (We already knew what Goepper was (six)packing.)

So here’s how it works: Each guy answers five questions revealing his celebrity love guru, the movie he’d have EW watch on our first date, the TV show he’d insist we marathon if we were snowed in together, the song he would use to “set the mood,” and where he’d take us on a dream date. The catch: The other two get to score his answers on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best). The gentleman with the highest total wins. In this case, the prize is acting out his dream date with EW’s Samantha Highfill, who got up at 4:30 a.m. ET to watch their final stream live.

Enjoy the EW Dating Games: Olympic Sweep Edition below. Then watch the full first take of the date.


Olympics Closing Ceremony recap: The best moments and the terrifying, terrifying, terrifying bear

Perhaps someday we will live in a world where the Olympics are always happening all of the time. Alas, we currently inhabit a cruel reality where the Olympics take place for a mere fortnight every couple years. And so last night we said good night to the Olympics in Sochi. Good night, teenaged figure skaters! Good night, jokes about curling followed by the epiphany that curling is pretty cool! Good night, insipid NBC commentary and insipid snark about the insipid NBC commentary! Good night, awkward cutaways to Putin!

The Closing Ceremony of Sochi 2014 took viewers on a journey through Russian culture. Who better to guide us through the festivities than Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, Sunday Night Football commentators and world-renowned Tolstoy scholars? READ FULL STORY

Olympics recap: The Dutch dominate speed skating, the Americans go empty-handed

In an attempt to soften the blow of the US losing every event on Saturday, NBC spent much of its primetime coverage on non-competition videos. The first was a story about an American paralympic swimmer, Jessica Tatiana Long, meeting her Russian birth parents for the first time. A story that NBC felt couldn’t be told without clips of Anastasia. (Makes sense to me.)


Olympics: What to watch today

The Olympics: So many sports, so little time. Need help deciding which events to watch? We’re here to help. Each day, we’ll give you our three picks for the most watch-worthy events. Here’s what we recommend for Sunday, February 23:

2 p.m. NBC
One of your last chances to get your heart racing as you watch in suspense to see who wins. We’re going to miss this.

6:30 p.m. NBC
Replay of the morning’s game for the gold between Canada and Sweden.

8:30 p.m. NBC
Goodbye, Sochi. Goodbye, Olympics. Thanks for the studs, the skills, and most of all, the memories.

Olympics: What to watch today

The Olympics: So many sports, so little time. Need help deciding which events to watch? We’re here to help. Each day, we’ll give you our three picks for the most watch-worthy events. Here’s what we recommend for Saturday, February 22:

10 a.m. NBCSN
Watching this will prepare you for tomorrow’s final hockey game, which will probably be something worth prepping for.

2:30 p.m. NBC
This is the final ladies’ skiing event, and it’s the one that may require the most endurance– watch this as a reward for your own endurance in watching all two weeks of the Olympics.

8 p.m. NBC
Maximilian Arndt and Alexandr Zubkov aren’t just excellent names for Bond villains. They’re also the pilots of the two teams—from Germany and Russia, respectively—most likely to stand in the way of America’s gold-medal hopes. (What, you were expecting Jamaica?) –Clark Collis

Olympics recap: Mikaela Shiffrin makes history with only one ski, Viktor Ahn is the speediest speed skater of them all

Welcome, welcome to an Olympic night filled with speed skating, a little slalom — say that three times fast — and more speed skating. Tonight’s Olympics coverage was all about the final women’s alpine skiing event, and more speed-skating crashes than you could possibly handle. Add in a little more Shani Davis disappointment, and that’s about it!

First things first, our Olympic Stud of the Day honor shall be handed to America’s own Mikaela Shiffrin who became the youngest slalom gold medalist at the age of 18. Not only that, but for a moment in her second run, she almost fell over, saving herself by completing her turn on one ski! Then, she was able to recover and beat out one of her skiing idols by a full half-second. Yep, I think it’s safe to say that a one-ski maneuver to get gold deserves a little something special. Now, we’re off to the races!

Short Track Men’s 500-meter: The first thing I learned tonight was how incredibly stressful it is to watch short track races. With less than a minute to find your way to the front of the pack, people fall … a lot. In the quarterfinals alone, we witnessed multiple falls.

There’s the classic collision:

The fall-turned-yoga-pose:

Or the no-one-to-blame-but-yourself crash:

In fact, after America’s J.R. Celski fell on his own in the race (but then got up and finished), the judges decided an earlier fall in the race was the result of a Korean skater, and therefore, said Korean was disqualified so that Celski made it through to the semis. Talk about drama!

And while we’re talking about Celski, did you guys hear that he once made a documentary featuring Macklemore and Ryan Lewis? So he just earned like 1,000 cool points, right? And when you consider that he also holds the world record in this race, he only gets cooler. However, all that coolness didn’t help him in the semis, where he was eliminated in what Apolo Ohno described as “40 seconds of pure mayhem, carnage, and chaos.”

But there was one skater who seemed to laugh in the face of chaos, and his hair looked like this:


Enter Russian skater (and former Korean skater) Viktor Ahn. Ahn took hold three gold medals in the Torino games and now had the opportunity to be the first man to win gold in all four speed skating events (not in the same games). In the finals, Ahn started out in last. Then, before I could blink, one skater fell, and suddenly Ahn made his move all the way to first to win gold! And then he proved that his hair wasn’t the only awesome thing about him when he celebrated like this:

Alpine Skiing Women’s Slalom: Elsewhere in Sochi, all the pressure seemed to be on American skier Mikaela Shiffrin. The reigning world champion, Shiffrin was going up against her skiing idol, Austrian Marlies Schild, in a very difficult slalom course. But the 18-year-old prodigy was able to execute a solid first run down the mountain, something that made her adorable parents very happy. As the commentators put it after Shiffrin’s first run, “Dad’s pumped; mom’s relieved.”

However, run two proved to be more challenging for skiers with the soft conditions of the course. American skier Resi Stiegler fell during her second run, and she wasn’t alone. Marlies Schild’s sister Bernadette also went down. Proof:

According to our commentator, Bernadette suffered from “over-skiing.” I hate when that happens, don’t you?

With only one skier left to complete her second run (Shiffrin), Marlies Schild was sitting pretty in first place. If she won, she would be the oldest competitor to take home gold in the event. And if her admirer Shiffrin won, she’d be the youngest. Here’s how they were feeling about those fun facts:

photo 3

photo 4

Seconds into Shiffrin’s run, the skier started to go a little too fast, even getting airborne at one point. Luckily, Shiffrin only needed one ski to complete a turn, and her recovery from that heart-stopping moment would earn her the gold.

As she put it in a post race interview, “Start grinding out that gold guys, I’m coming.”

(Also, what is Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and how does that relate to this event?)

Short Track Women’s 1000-meter: Back to the blades, it was time for the semi-finals, and once again, the falls kept coming. America’s Jessica Smith made it through after the skater in front of her fell of her own accord.

And after another two bit the dust (and were both penalized), it was time for the finals! Sadly, Jessica Smith took fourth as Korea’s Park Seung-Hi skated her way to gold.

Speed Skating Men’s Team Pursuit: Oh hey, Shani Davis! Time for a little redemption? No? Okay, that’s cool. Teaming up with Brian Hansen and Jonathan Kuck, Davis took the ice for the team pursuit. Sadly, the trio lost to Canada in the quarterfinals. Let’s just say that synchronicity was not their strong suit. Although Davis was the only one without goggles on, so at least he looked cool. Meanwhile, we saw that The Netherlands defeated France (by a big margin), before coverage ended. Who will win gold is nothing if not a mystery waiting to be solved. Moving on …

Short Track Men’s 5000-meter: Jumping straight into a final, we saw the return of J.R. Celski and Viktor Ahn, who both hit the ice with their teammates in what would become my surprise favorite event of the night. I’m still not entirely sure how it works, but I love how these teammates literally push one another to help move the relay along. And the number of laps, which I thought would surely bore me, only had me more intrigued. Who was going to give out? Surely they had to be tired, right? But I was wrong! This was one race that was fought until the final moments.

Let me back up: After an early wipeout, this race quickly became all about Russia and the U.S. Even though the U.S. team was ranked number one after the World Cup, Russia was in the lead for much of the race. But with only 15 laps left to go, we passed them! Wait! With only 7 laps to go, Ahn passed us back, and now Russia was in the lead! In the final laps, it was back to Celski versus Ahn as they anchored their teams. And finally, Russia came away with the win. But if I do say so, the event was the real winner, because it quite literally stole my heart. I mean, watch how they push their teammates along:

Fun, right?

And finally, I will leave you with my Bob Costas snarky comment of the night: “Can you take a selfie on a flip phone? I’m just a decade or two behind the technological curve. We’re just about finished with primetime tonight. Hope you all enjoyed it on those newfangled color TVs.” Oh Bob, you kill me.

Olympics: Jamie Anderson reveals 'Team World' karaoke song, Kaitlyn Farrington and Devin Logan perform a little 'Pitch Perfect' -- VIDEO


Here’s what we learned when we invited three hardware-sporting U.S. Olympians — snowboard slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson, snowboard halfpipe gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington, and ski slopestyle silver medalist Devin Logan — to EW to take our pop culture personality test: These ladies may be fearless during their runs, but don’t ask them to sit through a scary movie. Also, THERE WAS KARAOKE IN THE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE. Anderson, however, was the only one to find it. Farrington didn’t stay in the village; Logan can’t believe she missed it.

Watch the videos below. Anderson also acknowledges being dubbed EW.com’s Olympic Stud of the Day not once, but twice.  READ FULL STORY

'Loser Keeps Bieber' billboard goes viral

Justin Bieber made headlines once again (thankfully not for egging houses or getting arrested this time, though) when his face was plastered on a Chicago billboard. The electronic billboard features a photo of Bieber sandwiched between an American and a Canadian hockey player that says “Loser keeps Bieber.” Man, the stakes for the Olympics are higher than I thought! READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Kimmel pulls off Sochi wolf prank

And Sochi thought stray dogs were bad. American luger Kate Hansen tweeted a video of a wolf– yes, a real live wolf– roaming the hallway of her Sochi dorm and set off a media storm. But turns out Sochi doesn’t have a stray wolf problem (at least not that we know of) and resident late night prankster Jimmy Kimmel is actually the man behind it.

Hansen joined Jimmy Kimmel Live last night via Skype to reveal how the two pulled it off. “Honestly, there was a little bit more backlash than I thought there would be,” Hansen admitted. Apparently security beefed up because there was “a breach within athlete safety,” but they “handled it.”

So how’d they do it? Hansen sent Kimmel’s team a photo of her dorm hallway so they could build an entire replica of her hallway in the L.A. studio. Then they brought in a Timber Wolf mix named Rugby who played the role of stray wolf by roaming the fake hallway. Watch the entire clip below to see Kimmel’s interview with Hansen and the now-famous wolf: READ FULL STORY

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