Stephen Colbert Sponsors US Speed Skating Team

One of the less visible consequences of the global financial crisis that the political party you hate is solely responsible for is the plight of those teams and athletes whose sponsorships dried up alongside the banks’ profit margins. The US speed skating team, in particular, was hard hit; they were due $300,000 from a Dutch bank (Why are the Netherlands trying to buy our athletes? Are Dutch people commies? DEVELOPING…), but when that bank went belly-up, the speed skaters were in need of a real American hero.

Stephen Colbert
(Tragically, the full suit would prove to be too unwieldy for competitive speed-skating. And the sword would melt the ice and nobody wants that.)

In steps one Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA, and the greatest nation of them all: Colbert Nation. In a how-did-we-not-see-this-coming move, Colbert announced on Monday that his show and its legions of followers would be sponsoring the team for this year’s Olympics, with logo placement on the uniform and everything. Well played, you bespectacled maniac.

From SPORTS ILLUSTRATED:

On Monday’s “The Colbert Report,” Stephen Colbert announced his show has become the primary sponsor of the U.S. Speedskating team. The team’s largest annual cash sponsor, DSB Bank NV, left the team in the lurch after it declared bankruptcy in October.

The name “Colbert Nation” — the catchall for the legion of ardent fans of the satirical Comedy Central program — will be emblazoned on the team’s uniforms.

“On their enormous, billboard thighs, it will say, ‘Colbert Nation,”‘ Colbert said in an interview before Monday evening’s taping. “Be looking for that logo as it comes around the final turn. It will be easy to see because it will be in first place.”

You can watch the show here (the clip in question begins at 5:24):

It was only a matter of time, really, before this happened. Stephen Colbert’s character is a jingoistic egomaniac - witness his short-lived Presidential bid that was derailed immediately by its Doritos sponsorship - so what could be more perfect than sponsoring a USA team in the Olympics?

Further, though Colbert has a nose for uncomfortable comedy in interview settings, the speed skating and Olympic communities are probably safe from embarrassment. After all, Colbert brought his show to Iraq last year, and though it didn’t shy from controversial subjects, it was definitely a pitch-perfect week of shows for the troops, and not just about them. It’s an important distinction, and one that bodes well for the Olympic team as Vancouver approaches.

Plus, if anything, he’ll at least have them properly prepared for the bear menace. Those bears are no joke up there, man.