This Pussy Riot Snowboard Is The First Sign Of Athlete Protest At The Sochi Olympics

On the first day of Olympic competition, Russian snowboarder Alexey Sobolev used a snowboard that’s an apparent homage to the punk band Pussy Riot.

Three members of the band were jailed in 2012 for performing a song called “Punk Prayer” in a Moscow cathedral amidst anti-Putin demonstrations. They’ve since become a protest symbol for Putin detractors.

Sobolev’s board, which he used in qualification for the slopestyle event, featured an image of a woman in a ski mask, the band’s signature.

He didn’t say whether it was a protest or not, telling the AP, “I wasn’t the person who designed it.”

But, rather cryptically, he told R-Sport, “Anything is possible.”

It looks like a Pussy Riot allusion:

The band:

Whether or not we’d see protests from athletes, specifically related to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, was one of the biggest questions going into the Sochi games.

This is the first sign of it.

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