Here comes the Putin Olympics
February 7, 2014 Leave a comment
So the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are set to begin very shorty.
One wonders how the International Olympic Committee even allowed Russia [as well as others] to host the Olympics. Consider the following:
- The weather is above zero constantly. True, many events are in doors or in the mountains but Sochi even has a beach. Will Sochi have some lack of snow issues like they had in Vancouver? [They could have been the first Winter Olympics to have beach volleyball!]
- Islamic extremist from Dagestan, Chechnya and other areas threatening with terrorist strikes. In fact, those areas aren’t too far from Sochi – almost at the edge of what some would call a war zone. In fact some athletes are coming to the Olympics but without their families.
- The Putin government has implemented anti-gay [or LGBT] laws that are borderline draconian. A “Pride House” was banned by the Putin government. Adults can’t really mention LGBT issues to children or fear about getting arrested.
- Recently, an environmental activist was arrested for swearing. Something tells me they just wanted the activist away from Sochi. He was jailed for 15 days. Hmmm. He’ll be released just about the time the games end.
- Other lengthy jail terms for what would be considered lighter crimes [such as Pussy Riot or the “Greenpeace 30”] where those sentenced were placed in brutal gulags in northern Russia or just nasty prisons that make some US prisons look like a luxury resort.
- There is an authorized protest zone but far far away from the Olympic venues.
You though it could get as bad but future Olympics locations include Qatar [where workers are working under near slave conditions] and South Korea [where some dislike human rights abuses].
So is the IOC picking sites because nobody else want to pay for or host the games?
The final audited price for the Vancouver games was $1.84 million. When awarded the Olympics, the Russians estimated the games would cost $12 billion. The estimated price for Sochi is already estimated around $51 billion [which includes extra security] but I’m sure a nice chunk is corruption related. The Russian government claims that the actual price tag is in line with the original estimate and the remainder was for upgrades that would of happened anyways. Ya. Right. Maybe $35+ billion in upgrades to Sochi over 7 years [the time since the games were awarded]. On the other hand, Sochi is like a playground for the rich.
Of course we will probably never know. I’m sure the Putin government will give doctored results.