We're finding out early what Russia's Winter Olympics athletes are made of.
Ahead of the Sochi Games, the women on the team donned lingerie and other barely-there clothing and posed for what turned out to be a set of controversial photos.
According to the Weird Russia news blog, the competitors in the provocative pinup presentations included curling's Anna Sidorova, speed skater Tatiana Borodulina, figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova, freestyle skier Ekaterina Stolyarova (shown in the photo shoot video above) and ice hockey goalie Anna Prugova (pictured below).
The pictures, meant to generate positive PR for the Games, went viral in the host country, according to reports, but the come-hither vibe won no medals for furthering the cause of female athletes, Rachael Oakes-Ash wrote in Australia's Daily Life:
I have heard the arguments that stripping off brings much needed focus and a new audience to women in sport, the same women who earn lesser prize money and get lesser sponsorship dollars despite the same travel costs as the men on the competition circuit. But is it the audience we want and what about the young girls looking to make it on the world stage, must they worry that they are pretty enough not just good enough to make it too?
Indeed, when athletes say they are checking out the competition, it usually doesn't mean this:
(Hat tip, Daily Mail)