A video of a wolf padding down the hallway Thursday outside an Olympic luger’s Sochi hotel room turned out to be the work of comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
U.S. Olympian Kate Hansen tweeted the instantly viral video:
— Kate Hansen (@k8ertotz) February 20, 2014
Given the so-called “Sochi problems” that athletes and journalists have been experiencing and sharing over social media — and that Russian authorities contracted a company to kill all the stray dogs hanging around the resort town — the idea of a wolf wandering the streets of Sochi wasn’t too far-fetched, even if it seemed unlikely the animal could actually make its way inside a hotel.
Kimmel unveiled the prank Thursday night and trotted out the real (American) wolf he used to film the video, which Hansen agreed to post. She told Kimmel via Skype that there was “more backlash” to the video than she expected.
“Security started freaking out, because technically there was a breach,” she said. “You know, athlete safety. It kind of went a little crazy over here.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.