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Carla Buzasi

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Beyond the Front Pages

Posted: 21/02/2014 17:29

As Kiev erupted into violence this week, the world's media made its way to the city's makeshift morgues and, once again, made record of a country taking democracy into its own hands.

There has been no end of dramatic imagery emerging from the city, but perhaps the most moving piece to resonate around the world was the YouTube video I Am A Ukrainian, which made post-grad student Yulia the voice of a country in two short but powerful minutes.


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The sale of WhatsApp to Facebook may have been the big financial and tech news of the week, but arguably it was Tinder that deserved the headlines. In a certain Russian town, the dating app saw a 400% increase in users in the past seven days, thanks mainly to lots of over-exuberant athletes.

It's not exactly breaking news that Olympic villages are a hot-bed of hormones --that's the perceived wisdom, anyway. For American gold winner Jamie Anderson, however, the levels of flirtation got so bad she admitted on Monday that she'd had to delete Tinder from her phone.

Russia's politicians won't be over the moon to hear that the number of Grindr users in Sochi has also leapfrogged since the games began.

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Olympic Games - winter or summer - nearly always raise the issue of kids' participation in sport. And, just like during the London games, Sochi has brought with it the great hope that young girls especially will be inspired to take up new sports.

Helen Grant, the sports equalities minister, gave her tuppence worth to that conversation on Thursday when she suggested women might prefer cheerleading, Zumba or gymnastics to "unfeminine" sports. The comment was no doubt well meaning, but unsurprisingly backfired with Laura Bates from the Everyday Sexism project telling the Telegraph: "It's really the wrong approach to suggest that the only way for women to get involved in sports is to be girlie and feminine.

"It's actually discouraging for a minister to say this. With our great athletes performing fantastically at the Olympics, we still see media outlets focusing on the looks and femininity, which the comments seem to do too."

(Full disclosure: I tried my first Zumba class last weekend - and am happy to report I sweated just as much during it as I do during my usual run. I didn't choose it for reasons of femininity or fashion. I chose it because I've got shin splints from the aforementioned running.)

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Finally, and to be filed under 'not-so-serious stories of the week', Time magazine has named the Kit Kat the most influential chocolate bar of all time. (They actually named it the most influential 'candy' bar, but I've translated.)

For the sheer innovatism that there's a purple sweet potato version of the Kit Kat in existence, I'm happy to concur with Time's decision, and am very much looking forward to the follow-up article on most influential cakes.

 

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