PYEONGCHANG, South Korea—I was supposed to cover Mikaela Shiffrin’s probably podium-worthy slalom run this morning. In the perpetual riddle of trying to predict where the bigger story will be on any given day at the Olympics, I went to the ski slopes to see Shiffrin instead of watching Shaun White’s gold medal halfpipe performance. By the time I got out to the mountain, the IOC had updated the start time four times—first moving it back and then up again in an effort to squeeze 83 competitors past the unrelenting wind. After everyone spent an hour being buffeted about, the whole event was bagged and rescheduled for later this week.
Then, as I was writing that intro, the biathlon I was planning to go watch tonight got canceled because, what do you know, it’s still real windy out here. In fact, every five minutes my phone lights up with an Emergency Alert in Korean that Twitter tells me is also about the wind. If these Olympics had a theme it would be Weather: not such a joke after all, is it?
Anyway, since I couldn’t watch anyone ski, I decided to create a definitive ranking of the weird statues that are practically cluttering the main press compound here at the Olympics:
1. White Walker Just About To Make It Over The Wall
What I love in a work of public art is for it to be so subtle and out of the way that every renewed notice of it is the stuff of nightmares.
2. Dicks With Dicks
A visual commentary on all the Athletes Are On Tinder blogs that will be written this month.
3. The Inside Of A Sarcophagus, Only Make It Three Stories Tall
He’s one of a pair of them, too.
4. Scorpion From The Matrix
But with kind eyes.
5. Horny Gorilla
This is some Guillermo del Toro shit.
6. Dark Crystal: Fury Road
Where my Jim Henson stans at?
7. Stalagmite Moose
Let’s go in for a closer look.
Yep, it’s a moose.
8. Extreme Grizzly
Or is it a badger?
9. Inflatable Guy Outside Car Dealership Gets A Real Job
Incidentally, those are called “tube men” but no one would have gotten that reference.
10. Duck On Some Washers
I think these are two separate statues someone stacked by accident.
11. Balloon Animals Pretending To Be An Adult Human
They’re just missing the trench coat.
12. Just Some Blocks
Maybe I just don’t “get” it.
13. Getting hit by a bus.
14. Turf walls
This is just a bad backdrop for a low-budget Instagram influencer party.