Betting on 2014 Winter Olympics reaches into outer space as astronauts at the International Space Station bet on the games.
The 2014 Winter Olympics kick off today in Sochi, Russia, and while sports betting fans will certainly be wagering on sports under Russian gambling laws throughout the games, there will be highly unusual bettors as well. The International Space Station is currently home to six astronauts, and they say they will be betting as well.
Certainly, the ISS occupants will have a great vantage point from space, but we doubt they will be able to see anything from up there. This doesn’t stop them from betting on the games, however. According to Rick Mastracchio, NASA astronaut, a friendly competition on board the ISS can be expected, especially if Russian and American athletes will compete against one another.
Russian gambling news quote Mastracchio: “We’ve got the Japanese astronaut, we’ve got three Russian astronauts and then you have Mike and I from the United States. I think there will be some friendly competition especially if the Russian and U.S. hockey teams meet head to head. That would be interesting.”
The current crew of the International Space Station consists of Kiochi Wakata from Japan, Oleg Kotov, Sergey Ryazanskiy and Mikhail Tyurin from Russia, and Mike Hopkins as well as Rick Mastracchio from the United States.
Sports betting in space
Well, online sportsbooks in Russia will be unavailable aboard the ISS, not to mention the land-based betting shops, but astronauts will have a way to wager anyway. According to Mastracchio, astronauts can bet their space food on the outcomes of certain events in the Winter Olympics. It will also represent a nice change from their usual food.
Mastracchio said: “When you’re up here for such a long time, even though we do have a variety of food, it starts to get a little bit old, so anytime you can get something a little bit different, it’s definitely a treat. So, I’m sure the Russians have a lot of good food and there are a lot of things that we have that they enjoy also.”
The American astronaut said they will be definitely watching the Sochi Games, but won’t be able to recreate the winter sports in space. He said: “We don’t have much snow up here. The kind of thing we do up here is more like gymnastics when we’re floating around and spinning around, you feel like a gymnast or how a gymnast must feel when they’re doing those incredible feats.”
The 2014 Winter Olympics and the Space Station
Astronauts to bet on Winter Olympics in space
• International Space Station crew says they will be betting food
• Astronauts may be able to watch some of the sporting events
• Online sportsbooks in Russia will be, naturally, unavailable from space
There has been a special connection between the International Space Station and the Olympics this time around. For the first time in history, the Olympic torch has been taken to the Space Station. The Russian cosmonauts Ryazanskiy and Kotov have even taken it into the outer space, and the traditional torch relay actually started from up there.
Mastracchio continued his interview with a comment about the torch: “I think the key phrase is ‘international co-operation’. Both the Olympics and the International Space Station are great examples of what folks can do when they get together — when all these different countries get together — and try to accomplish something.”
Mastracchio went on to add: “The Olympics are an incredible event. All these different nations from around the world get together to participate in athletic events. Look at the International Space Station. Again, you’ve got many countries from around the world building hardware and then we assembled it in orbit and it had to fit together perfectly. International co-operation is the key to being successful in anything.”
Watching the Olympics in space
The American astronauts will be able to ask their Mission Control to relay some of the sporting events on a time delay, and maybe they will be even able to watch some of them live.
As for his favorite sporting event, Mastracchio had the following to say: “I like a lot of the events in the Winter Olympics. The speed skating, and some of the different skiing events are pretty interesting to me. Anything where there’s a lot of speed seems a little more interesting.”
Well, we are wishing the astronauts great betting success, and hope they will be able to join the global celebrations of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.