Off-The-Wall Wagers for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games
Sportsbooks have odds up on all the big events taking place in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Games, but the fun-loving folks at PaddyPower.com have posted odds on some of the happenings away from the podium. Olympic bettors can find lines on protests, gay athletes, condom shortages, and beer sales.
- It wouldn't be an Olympic Games without some drama surrounding the event. And Sochi 2014 has probably attracted the most fierce public backlash the IOC has ever seen.
That controversy makes for some juicy Olympic prop bets. Here are the wildest, off-the-wall wagers for the 2014 Winter Games. Some of these odds are more off-putting than Sochi's tandem toilets.
- "Pussy Riot" to stage a protest (-400)
The Russian feminist punk rock protest group recently had two members released from a two-year prison term for "hooliganism" after protesting a church (that doesn't go over well in any country) and doesn't think very highly of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his anti-gay laws ahead of the Sochi Games. The group is currently in the U.S. taking part in the "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert in Brooklyn, and have made powerful pals with pop legend Madonna.
- Vladimir Putin to appear topless (+300)
For a world leader, Putin is in kick-ass shape. He's constantly parading around shirtless, riding a horse or fly fishing, which is funny because these are pretty much the most homoerotic images you can find without having to turn off your "safe search". We're surprised he didn't rip his shirt off and try to nurse a pissed-off leopard cub that attacked two reporters earlier this week.
- Olympic Village to run out of condoms (+300)
The condom shortage at Vancouver 2010 became world news, with athletes finding alternative ways to keep warm between events. There were 100,000 rubbers given out in the Olympic Village in 2010, and 150,000 during the 2013 Summer Games in London, which averaged out to about 15 per athlete.
With many athletes being told to stay safe and sound in the Olympic Village in Sochi, the 2014 games could put a strain on the IOC's "recreation" budget when it comes to condoms. And if our Olympic hotties slideshow is any indication, there's no shortage of good looking people competing this year.
- BrewDog to sell 1,000 bottles in Sochi (+1,000)
The Scottish brewing company has released a special edition beer just in the time for the 2014 Sochi Games: "‘Hello, My Name is Vladimir". The label features a Andy Worhol-like image of Putin with "*not for gays" written in small print. BrewDog is hoping the beer takes off a protest to Putin's laws on homosexuals, according to co-founder James Watt.
- Seven or more podium winners to sport rainbow colors (+350) / Any Sochi Winter Olympics medal winner to come out in 2014 (+350)
- The political sparring between liberal athletes and human rights groups versus the views of the host country are about as heated as the medal competition. There are six openly gay athletes competing in Sochi, all of which are women. However, with the biggest stage in the world, it's safe to assume gay rights supporters and even a few closeted gay athletes will look to send a message to President Putin.
The Germans are on board, sporting rainbow uniforms - which they swear has nothing to do with making a political statement. If you think Germany can win seven or more medals at Sochi, we'd say that +350 is a safe bet.
- Banksy to deface a Sochi stadium (+800)
Banksy wears many caps, but he's best known as a politically-fueled graffiti artist and rumors have it that he's en route to Russia looking to make the Sochi Games his canvas. He created numerous works in London for the 2012 Summer Games, mostly poking fun at the militarily state involved in the games' security measures.
- Any national team to officially boycott the Sochi Olympic Games (+800) / Sochi Winter Olympics to be called off entirely (+2,500)
Murmurs of boycotts have bubbled up since Putin's anti-gay laws on "propaganda of homosexualism among minors" but it doesn't look like any country will actually pull the plug on the Olympic Games.
As for cancelling the whole thing, well you'd be better served betting that money on a shirtless Putin or whether it will rain during the opening ceremony (+350). The forecast in Sochi Friday is calling for clear skies and temperatures in the mid 50s with a zero percent chance of rain - the exact same chance the 2014 Winter Games have of being called off.