Thousands and thousands of photographers have been shooting the Olympics for two weeks straight, and the pictures they’ve unleashed upon the world have been amazing. We’ve been treated to images of unbelievable triumph. We’ve seen heartbreaking loss captured in time. We’ve witnessed majestic physiques, effortless movement, skillful coordination — and strange bungled moments that look less like professional athleticism and more like low-budget amateur porn.
Two guesses as to which of those this column will be about.
#7. The Oiled-Up Flag Bearer
That’s Pita Taufatofua, a humble taekwondo practitioner from Tonga, who led his troops in the Maracana stadium wearing little more than a ta’ovala waist mat and several barrels of baby oil. Tonga was clearly going for tongue-in-cheek sexy here, but what they accidentally created is a scene straight out of a submissive person’s embarrassment fantasy. Look at the expression of barely concealed terror on the guy’s face:
Look how everyone within spitting distance is either pointedly ignoring him or giving him these amused glances:
And look at that smarmy fucker behind him, who you just know will give shit to him about this for the rest of his days:
It’s like that dream where you’re at a party naked. For Pita Taufatofua, the dream was reality, and the party was attended by hundreds of millions of people.
#6. The Field Hockey Players With Unfortunate Names
Hee. Heeheehee. Heeheeheeheeheeheehee. “Butts.”
Despite the fact that this memefied shot is all anyone will ever remember about the German field hockey team’s dominant first-round 6-2 win over Canada, I have a feeling that Linus Butt and Florian Fuchs are ultimately OK with their unfortunate name pairing. See, this is one of those jokes that, with just a slight tweaking, is actually on everyone except themselves. Well, at least everyone unwittingly standing to their right:
“Dammit, guys.” — Martin Zwicker, probably
#5. The Judo Ass Slap
Alone, both of those men are clearly engaging in completely innocent activities. The judoka is celebrating his victory, and the official is merely awarding him the match by signaling away the evil spirits of the underworld who, by Olympic tradition, get to eat all the losers. However, the interplay of these poses makes it look for all the world like the official’s attempting to woo the judo guy by casually ass-slapping him, and that the hulking athlete who could easily break him in two reacts by literally jumping out of his clothes. You can practically hear the yelp. You can definitely picture the man-shaped hole in the wall as the judo dude escapes the hall, while the official embarks in a long Looney Tunes chase, Pepe-le-Pew-style.
#4. Slow Dance Wrestling
If you had to guess the sport where the most gentle and sensual photo of the entire Rio Olympics comes from, you’d probably say something like gymnastics, beach volleyball, or skeet shooting. What you definitely wouldn’t say is wrestling, a sport more associated with grunting, spandex wedgies, and unfortunate crotch shots than softcore erotica.
Yet here we are in the men’s Greco-Roman wrestling semifinals, watching as two competitors cease their struggle to suplex each other to oblivion in order to embrace in a sensuous slow dance. Run that shit through an appropriately tacky glamour shot filter, hide the most obvious bulges with some clip art flowers, and you could use this shot to illustrate a wedding invitation.