Americans View Russians Negatively

Did Russians sabotage Canadian lugers?

2014 Sochi Olympic Games;Winter

Luge team relay silver medalists from Russia celebrate during their medal ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.     Photo: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

No, you're not imagining it: Anti-Russian sentiment by Americans has soared in recent years. In fact, a Gallup poll confirms that Americans haven't felt this negatively about Russia or its president for two decades—since the organization first started asking Americans how they felt about the country.

Sixty percent of Americans view Russia unfavorably, and 63 percent have similar feelings about the country's president, Vladimir Putin. These numbers follow Gallup's findings from last fall that Americans view Russia as an enemy, not an ally, for the first time in 14 years. Negative views of Russia also spiked when the country bombed Chechnya in 1999 and refused to support U.S. military efforts in Iraq in 2003.

These opinions might be rubbing off on our northern cousins. According to ABC News, Canada's luge coach thinks his team was sabotaged during yesterday's luge relay at the Sochi Games. Who does he blame? The Russians.

The coach, Wolfgang Staudinger, has accused Russian track officials of turning up the boiler that controls the track's temperature after Russian lugers finished their run.

"Canada was silver at the top, but the further we went down, the slower we got. That's a clear sign that the track slowed down dramatically," Staudinger told the Toronto Star. "That's not normal."

Still, the Canadians say they won't protest the race's results.

Canada's team took fourth, while the Russians went home with silver.

As of Friday morning, Russia's 11 medals narrowly edged out Canada's 10, which has us asking the obvious question: Could the Russians just be better athletes than the Canadians?

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