QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Olympic organisers howl with laughter at girl who cried wolf

RUSSIA: Olympic organisers laughed off the prank by a US luger involving a wolf supposedly prowling the athletes’ village, and they said yesterday that no disciplinary action is being taken.

American talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel said he cooperated with luger (sled athlete) Kate Hansen to post a fake video of a wolf wandering the hall outside the athlete’s room in Sochi. Instead, Kimmel’s staff rented a wolf and built a set in Los Angeles that was a replica of the dorm and filmed the animal walking around.

“It made me kind of laugh as an individual, not as an IOC spokesman,” International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said. “I don’t think there’s any harm done,” he said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious.”

Sochi organising committee spokeswoman Alexandra Kosterina said: “We’ve seen lots of fake photos and fake videos.”

“It’s their business if they want to do that,” Kosterina said. “It’s OK. People are having fun.”

The US Olympic Committee declined to comment.

The video was tweeted from Hansen’s social-media accounts and went viral. Many media outlets fell for the prank before Kimmel’s show aired, and he poked fun at the news organisations who ran it without verification.

A WEE DELAY

RUSSIA: Winter Olympics champion Lizzy Yarnold has revealed she was denied the opportunity to celebrate in the hours after clinching gold because she struggled to produce a urine sample.

The 25-year-old did not make it back to the athletes’ village until midnight after claiming Great Britain’s first gold at the Sochi Games in the women’s skeleton.

On The Jonathan Ross Show, she said: “I was in drug testing trying to provide my urine sample for two hours. I was knocking back loads of glasses of water just so I could complete the urine test.” She added: “Then I went back to the athlete village, it was midnight by this time.”

KITCHEN COWARDS

ENGLAND: Many young adults living in a house or flat- share continue to have their meals cooked by a parent or guardian, according to a study.

The survey of 1,500 adults in Britain by analysts Mintel found just 30% of those aged 16 to 24 are confident cooks and 16% perceive cooking as stressful, compared with 11% on average. The poll revealed 16% of those aged 16 to 24 who live in a house or flat- share continue to have their meals cooked for them by parents or guardians, as do 15% of those living in student accommodation.

Just 27% of 16 to 24s cook from scratch most days, compared with 54% of over 55s.

MURDER MYSTERY

SCOTLAND: Archaeologists have discovered a 900-year-old murder victim during a dig at the Scottish Seabird Centre.

They found the skeleton of a young man dating from the 12th or 13th century while investigating the historic Kirk Ness, which was the site of a church and cemetery in North Berwick, East Lothian.

Analysis revealed that the man was stabbed four times in the back, twice in the left shoulder and twice in the ribs. The bones may be re-interred in the cemetery.

EAGLES HAVE LANDED

USA: A flock of feathered visitors are making themselves at home in Michigan’s biggest power plant this winter.

Up to 200 bald eagles have taken up residence at the plant in Monroe. DTE Energy is happy to host the raptors when the temperatures drop, and has set aside 800 acres along Lake Erie for wildlife habitat preservation.

The eagles are drawn to the factory’s warm water discharge that provides easy access to fish and a wooded area where the people-shy birds can roost.

SLUMMING IT

JAMAICA: Authorities have opened a police station in what was once the slum headquarters of the island’s biggest gang boss.

Underworld kingpin Christopher Coke ran a criminal empire which seemed untouchable until Jamaican officials agreed to act on a US extradition warrant and captured him in 2010. His stronghold was the Tivoli Gardens housing complex, where he provided residents with services and a lawless sort of order.

More than 70 people were killed by security forces in a May 2010 effort to catch Coke and exert legal authority over West Kingston’s slums. Now officials have opened a police station in a Tivoli building where the gangster once had his office.

BAREFOOT BENEFACTOR

USA: A Kentucky man is going barefoot for a good cause in one of the harshest winters in memory in the southern US. Hair stylist Richard Hudgins is raising money for shoeless children and has gone barefoot to work, shopping and the gym in a winter that featured several days of snow and ice.

He hopes to raise $25,000 (€18,000) for children in Kenya in need of uniforms and shoes to attend school.

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