Today was the second annual Mitki Olympics. What are the Mitki, you ask? One source defines them this way:

Mitki are the artistic union of mostly St-Petersburg artists, writers,
poets, cool guys which have many common features such as love to
alcoholic beverages and animals, active peacefulness, talking using
quotes from most famous Russian movies and much much more.

The Other St. Petersburg has a nice piece on the Mitki as well.

Basically, the Mitki are bohemians in a rather non-bohemian city. I think in the beginning they were kind of regarded as pathetic losers, but twenty years on they’re sort of a St. Petersburg institution. They kind of reminded me of old hippies in the US, Ann Arborites in particular. I felt very cozy amongst them, and I don’t often feel cozy in groups of Russians.

Right. The Mitki Olympics. The events were:

1. The Stocking Throw. Throw a nylon stocking as far as you can. Tying knots is forbidden, but other sorts of twisting and rolling are OK. The farthest throw: 11 meters 40. Kostia’s brother Igor came in second at 11 meters 20.

2. Bicycle Race. Ride a bicycle as slowly as you can.

3. Arm Wrestling.

4. Checker Flicking. Opponents line up ten checkers and take turns flicking their checkers across the board. The object is to knock the opponent’s checkers off while keeping their own on the board. The first one to have all their checkers go off the board loses.

5. Tug-of-War.

There were actual prizes and things. I participated in events 1, 3, and 5, but didn’t place in any. I sustained an injury in the tug-of-war when I was knocked to the ground and Klaas fell on top of me. I have a lovely scrape on my right hand and probably some other bruises. So cool.