The guys at Google appear to have just flipped the bird at the Russians for their anti-gay laws ... posting a rainbow Olympics search bar to their homepage.
The art work popped up on the site minutes ago ... and the message sure seems loud and proud ... Google supports gay rights at Sochi.
As you know -- the Russians are enforcing a strict "no gays allowed" policy in their country ... which includes everyone traveling there for the Games this winter.
Your move Putin.
HEINEKEN ARRIVES IN SOCHI
Hey Bud, We're Not Afraid!
2/6/2014 1:06 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Heineken ain't afraid of no terrorism -- unlike Budweiser -- TMZ Sports has learned, the Dutch beer company has REFUSED to cancel its Olympics party in Sochi ... after its American cousin pulled out.
A rep for Heineken tells us, the beer titan's party house in Sochi officially opened for business today ... and it's already turnt up big time.
It's a big move ... considering Budweiser shut down all plans to have a presence in Sochi because the company is afraid of the looming threat of terrorism.
But Heineken says Bud's fears are unsubstantiated ... with one rep telling us, "Sochi is actually OK safety-wise."
Cheers to that.
Jamaican Bobsled Team
WE FOUND OUR LUGGAGE
... Lawd a Mercy!!
2/6/2014 9:05 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The Jamaican Bobsled team is officially back in business ... after their missing luggage was finally located in Sochi.
Team Jamaica's Winter Olympics experience got off to a bad start when they arrived to Russia ahead of their luggage ... which contained clothing, uniforms, helmets and other important bobsledding stuff.
But good news ... the luggage finally arrived to Sochi around midnight ... and today, the team hit the track for a pre-Olympics training sesh.
Don't worry ... the lucky egg* was probably a carry-on.
*note -- the lucky egg was popularized in the propaganda film, "Cool Runnings" ... no word if it actually exists.
Budweiser Should Declare P.R. War On Sochi
Pulling Out Isn't Enough
2/6/2014 7:04 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Cedric Ceballos wants Budweiser to BE STRONGER in its stand against the situation in Sochi ... saying pulling out isn't enough -- he wants the company to declare an all out P.R. war on Russia.
We broke the story ... Budweiser decided NOT to throw its traditional Club Bud party at the Winter Olympics this year -- and according to internal documents obtained by TMZ Sports, it's all because Bud fears the terror threat in Sochi is looming too large.
Bud has not issued a public statement explaining the decision -- but the former NBA star tells TMZ Sports, he thinks the company has a duty to back up their actions with strong words.
"I think they should come out with a statement. I mean, they always make statements in commercials with their product,. somebody either the President or the CEO should make a statement."
Budweiser BAILS on Sochi
We're Not Comfortable There
2/5/2014 2:25 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
There's no Bud for you, Sochi ... TMZ Sports has learned Budweiser has decided to NOT throw its traditional Winter Olympics party this year and it's all because the company is not comfortable with the situation in Russia.
In the past, Budweiser was known for hosting huge parties -- like the Club Bud bashes during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.
But we've learned ... the King of Beers has decided it won't be throwing a similar party at the '14 Games ... at least, that's the plan for now.
In fact, we've seen an email from a Budweiser rep which says the company does not want its U.S.-based representatives in Sochi ... and the message is clear -- the terrorist threat is simply looming too large.
A rep for Anheuser-Busch confirms to TMZ Sports ... there will be no Club Bud in Sochi -- but the rep didn't give a reason for why the company is not throwing the party.
CONDOMS FOR EVERYONE
Officials Distribute 100,000 Rubbers
2/5/2014 10:57 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Sex is rampant in Olympic Village ... everyone knows this ... and officials have taken steps to make sure the athletes stay safe in the bedroom by passing out 100,000 condoms, TMZ Sports has learned.
A rep for the International Olympic Committee tells us ... "The distribution of condoms in the village is part of the IOC’s involvement in the HIV and AIDS prevention."
The 100,000 condoms will cover roughly 7,650 athletes who are competing (and banging each other) over a 16-day span.
Just a few years ago, former Olympic competitor Ronda Rousey told us the village is pure "debauchery" ... with hot people fueled on adrenaline and free booze having the time of their lives.
Makes ya wanna book a trip to Sochi, right?
U.S. Olympic Skiier Julia Mancuso
Check Out My Hot Butt Crack
2/5/2014 7:51 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Here's Team USA downhill skier Julia Mancuso trying to get America hooked on crack ... and it's working.
The 29-year-old Olympian -- who chalked up a gold medal at the 2006 Olympics in Turin -- threw on one of the lowest plunging catsuits ever for a sexy photo shoot for February edition of GQ.
Mancuso is considered America's best hope for Olympic gold in the speed events -- and she doesn't lack confidence. In fact, she brags on her Twitter page, "I ski better than you."
Hope she's right ...
My Mustache Was Violated
... By Pill Company
2/4/2014 5:35 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
No one abuses Mark Spitz's trademark mustache and gets away with it ... so says Mark Spitz, who claims a pill company had the balls to jack his follically-enhanced image to hawk energy pills without permission.
The U.S. Olympic legend has filed a lawsuit against New Vitality -- an online vitamin and supplement company that allegedly used an old-school photo of Mark in an ad for one of their products called PowerQ10.
In the ad, Spitz gives a testimonial about how much he loves to use the product to support his energy levels and heart health.
Problem is, Mark says he never agreed to allow the company to use his name, his image or his mustache to endorse any New Vitality product and now he's looking for big fat check to make things right. He also wants punitive damages.
We reached out to New Vitality -- so far, no word back.
Olympian Nastia Liukin
I'M OFF TO SOCHI
... And I Ain't Scared!!!
1/30/2014 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
U.S. Olympic badass Nastia Liukin is off to Mother Russia to cover the Winter Games in Sochi ... but despite reports of violent threats and suicide bombers, the 5'3" gymnast tells TMZ Sports she's NOT AFRAID.
Liukin -- who was actually born in Moscow before moving to the U.S. at 2-years-old -- is covering the games for NBC ... and will be spending more than a month in Putin country.
Before she took off Wednesday morning, the 2008 gold medalist told us, "Although there are no guarantees given the world we live in, I'm confident that the Russian government and NBC Olympics are doing everything they can to make the Games as safe as possible."
She adds, "NBC has nearly 1,000 people in Russia already and I'm told they are overwhelmed and comfortable with the unprecedented security that has been deployed."
Still, the U.S. government isn't taking any chances ... there are 2 American warships on standby in the region just in case anything goes wrong.
Team USA Athletes
Our Olympic Sweaters
1/26/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The biggest threat to morale for Team USA at Sochi this year is ... a SWEATER -- this according to several American athletes who tell TMZ Sports their Olympics outfits are straight up ugly.
Ralph Lauren just revealed the U.S. opening ceremony outfits the other day ... and the jocks we spoke to tell us there's a buzz in the Olympic community about how unattractive they are.
"Initially, the reaction was 'Are we REALLY wearing that?" ... one Team USA athlete told us.
Another reaction -- "HAHAHAHAHA, oh man ..."
Another Olympian was more optimistic -- saying, "Maybe people will see us wearing the sweaters and they'll become a trend. Or maybe they'll be worn at ugly sweater parties."
One thing's for sure -- the design isn't turning off fans. The online team store is SOLD OUT of the sweaters … which cost a cool $595-a-pop.
We DON'T Hate Her Guts
... Bobsled Teammate Says
1/24/2014 10:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lolo Jones DESERVED her spot on the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team ... despite the rantings of some bitter bobsledders who didn't make the squad ... so says the bobsled PILOT for Team USA.
TMZ Sports spoke with Jazmine Fenlator who tells us ... the team considers itself a "wolf pack" ... and Jones is an INTEGRAL part.
"The Olympic team has developed a bond," Fenlator says ... "We have each other’s backs."
Jones has been under fire from several bobsledders who didn't make the team -- who claim Lolo was only selected due to her celebrity status.
But Fenlator thinks those people are just haters ... and haters gonna hate.
As for Lolo, Fenlator says she's been working her ass off -- "We have great chemistry together… don’t know how the team would do without her."
Russia Loves Elton John
... Even Though He's Gay
1/19/2014 7:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Elton John is HUGE in Russia ... so gay people should feel totally welcome at the Olympics -- this according to President Vladimir Putin, who's trying like Hell to prove his country doesn't hate homosexuals.
Putin reiterated Russia would not discriminate against gay and lesbian athletes or visitors during the upcoming Sochi Olympics while speaking with the foreign press Sunday morning.
Putin used Elton as an example, calling him an "outstanding person (and) musician" -- and adding, "Millions of our people sincerely love him despite his orientation."
For what it's worth ... Elton spoke out against the country's "gay propaganda law" last month during a concert in Moscow saying, "In my opinion, it is inhumane and isolating."
Can you feel the love tonight?
Olympic Performances Aren't a Big Deal
Super Bowl is Where It's At
1/11/2014 12:29 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lionel Richie says his performance at the 1984 Olympics was awesome ... but these days Sochi is no match for the Super Bowl
Richie was strutting out of LAX Friday night when he told us his '84 closing ceremony number was huge at the time ... but now the Super Bowl has more eyes than the world games.
His logic is pretty compelling. Check it out.