© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

While Russia pounds Ukraine back to the stone age, Putin proposes the inappropriate and ironically coined, “Friendship Games.” The absurdity is not unlike the phrase, “The beatings will continue until morale improves,” as first attributed to either Voltaire in 1759 or a WWII Japanese navy general from 1945, likely both. Don’t forget the cool-aide-drinking kamikazes of the era. They would have been just fantastic during a so-called Friendship Games.

Officially, President Vladimir Putin has proposed to prime minister Mikhail Mishustin that the new Friendship Games take place shortly after the 2024 Paris Olympic Games conclude. Putin “proposing” anything is likely a ruse disguised as a polite way of demanding that it happen, otherwise, Mishustin may just catch a mysterious cold-like condition. To add to the absurdity, he also put a deadline on the proposition of July 1.

If the Friendship Games are run with the efficiency displayed by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and the All-Russian Athletics Federation, when trying to fake their cleaned-up image for the World Anti-Doping Agency, a sketch comedy routine may be crafted by the great Tina Fey. It would write itself.

The so-called proposal will be unveiled at the BRICS Summit in August in Johannesburg, South Africa. BRICS includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. I cannot believe they have left out Mini-me Belarus from the acronym.

“Our joint mission is to do everything possible so that athletes and major international competitions are not the objects of political games,” Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said.

Certainly bombing a smaller neighbouring nation into submission is not about political games. Rather it’s war games and the West should get that straight. As should some of the East, most of the rest of the South, and all of the North. And the Olympic Games are no place for either.

The acerbity is ripe like a late October yabluko; red and rotting on the vine. Comedically, “proposal” was replaced with “instruction,” no less by Matytsin himself.

“We continue to fulfill your [Putin’s] instruction to organise the World Friendship Games in the fall of 2024.

“We consider it necessary to use the resources of both Russian and international public and state organisations to the maximum for the successful holding of the Games, which should be held on a regular basis in the future.”

The unfolding before us is in line with the Russian proverb of the absurd, “Love is evil, it will make you fall in love with a goat.”

We will just leave that one marinate on the page.