Sochi Winter Olympics Update: John Oliver Discovers That Russian Word For Special Police Spells ‘Homo’ Backwards

  • Rick Chandler

Could Russia’s new law banning pro-gay demonstrations and propaganda just be an attempt to deflect attention from this? Apparently the Russian acronym for their “Special Purpose Police Unit” (“Otryad Militsii Osobogo Naznacheniya” in Russian), looks quite ironic to the English-speaking world when viewed in the mirror. Oliver:

“That’s a little tricky when they’re pulling you over. ‘Olga, how fast were we going? The gay police are gaining on us.’ “

As the 2014 Winter Games approach, focus is on Russia’s new law, and how it may be enforced. Will foreign athletes who wear rainbow flag pins be subject to arrest? The law as written is vague such issues.

U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir, who is gay, says that he’s “willing to be arrested” if he qualifies for the Games. New Zealand speed skater Blake Skjellerup, so far the only openly gay athlete who has officially qualified for the Games, says he’ll will wear a rainbow pin in Russia. Huffington Post:

“I was in the closet for far too long and it wasn’t a very fun time at all,” Skjellerup said. “I’m not going to change the person that I am just for the sake of some rules existing in one country.”

Meanwhile, people in the U.S. and other nations are exploring ways to protest the law. Gay bars in Chicago, San Francisco and Vancouver recently protested by boycotting Russian vodka — pouring the stock they had on hand into the gutter.


“Pouring vodka into the gutters. A powerful stand against homophobia, and for drunk sewer alligators.”

Oliver’s stint as replacement host on “The Daily Show” ended on Thursday, by the way. It was regal and well played.