SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Olympic organizers laughed off the prank by a U.S. luger involving a wolf supposedly prowling the athletes’ village, and they said Friday that no disciplinary action is being taken.
American talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel said Thursday he cooperated with luger 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 Friday. “I don’t think there’s any harm done,” he said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious.”
Sochi organizing 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 U.S. Olympic Committee declined comment.
The video was tweeted from Hansen’s social-media accounts and went viral during the day Thursday. Many media outlets fell for the prank before Kimmel’s show aired, and he poked fun at the news organizations who ran it without verification.
Kimmel revealed the elaborate lengths used to pull off the joke, including building a replica of the hallway outside Hansen’s room at the ABC show’s Los Angeles studio. He showed the video that Hansen allowed the show to post.
Hansen, in an interview on the show, said that “it kind of went a little crazy over here” when the wolf story started spreading. “There was a little more backlash than I thought there would be,” she said. “But it was all worth it in the end.”