“Back in Cold War times, the theory of containment was created,” he told a televised public meeting in Sochi on Monday. “This theory and its practice were aimed at restraining the development of the Soviet Union... what we see now are echoes of this containment theory.”
A day earlier, the 61-year-old had been all smiles, as state TV captured him congratulating the victorious Russian skaters and urging the team to greater sporting glory.
On the team was diminutive 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaya, whose performance melted hearts and had commentators gushing, but there were no more gold medals for Russia on Monday.
Defending champ Alex Bilodeau led a Canadian one-two in the men’s freestyle skiing moguls, putting his country atop the medals table with three golds, three silvers and a bronze.
France claimed its first title of the Games when Martin Fourcade won the biathlon 12.5km pursuit. Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen finished came to miss out on a record 13th Winter Games medal.
In the high-velocity, notoriously unpredictable sport of short track, Canada’s Charles Hamelin grabbed the 1,500m gold before lunging over the barriers to wrap his girlfriend and teammate Marianne St-Gelais in a hug.
Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch retained her Olympic super combined title with a slalom surge amid the peaks of the Caucasus Mountains
Meanwhile, the Canadian curling team had a sobering opening day of action at the Ice Cube Curling Center as the overwhelming gold-medal favorites only managed to scrape past unheralded Germany 11-8 and followed that with a surprise 5-4 loss to Switzerland in the evening.
The Canadians’ struggles have given renewed hope to their rivals, specially Sweden, who top the standings with a 2-for-2 record.
“I’m a little bit surprised,” Sweden’s Fredrik Lindberg said. “But they have never been abroad to play a championship and that’s something to consider.”
Sweden’s two wins have come against two of their fiercest rivals in Europe: a tense 7-5 win over European champions Switzerland and an 8-4 victory against Britain.
Joining Sweden in making a good start to round-robin play was Norway, the 2010 silver medalists.
The Norwegians were the talk of the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 for wearing a range of funky, diamond-printed pants. They are continuing the trend in Sochi, where they donned the Ice Blocks range, a mixture of red, white, blue and gray squares and rectangles.
“We have so many things going on in the closet right now,” Norway curler Haavard Vad Petersson said. “We just have to try to get through them all.”
Yesterday’s biggest winner was arguably India, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lifted the country’s suspension, allowing Indians to compete under their flag for the rest of the Games.
The committee’s executive board reinstated India’s Olympic body after a weekend ballot.
India was suspended in December 2012 for electing scandal-tainted Abhay Chautala as president and Lalit Bhanot as secretary-general of its Olympic body.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the lifting takes immediate effect, meaning cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal and slalom skier Hamanshu Thakur are now free to compete for India.