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Controversies Surrounding The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Updated on April 7, 2014
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The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games have attracted masses not only due to the sports extravaganza, but also the controversies it was involved in, even before the Games even started.The estimated cost shoots up to an enormous $51 billion.The expenses are even higher than the 2008 Summer Olympics, where China had to spend around $40 billion.UK managed the same in $15 billion.
When the IOC Committee was set up in 2007 to decide the host for the 2014 Games, the expenses were projected to be near $12 billion.The cost of these games has seen a steep rise over the years.
Below, we'll discuss some of the key features why this edition of the Winter Olympics finds itself marred with controversies.

Is Russia wasting a lot of money by spending such a huge amount on the Winter Olympics?

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Infrastructure- Invested a Bit Too Much

If we take a look at the infrastructure prepared by Russia for the Games, we can see that an Olympic park has been created on the coast of the Black Sea with the Fisht Olympic stadium and the Games' indoor venues located within walking distance.The snow events are scheduled to be held at Krasnaya Polyana in the Caucasus mountains.These mountains have seen decent amount of snowfall in the past few days, which seems to be enough to conduct the Games.This would mean Russia's arrangement of tonnes of artificial snow may render useless.

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Costs of the Olympic Games: Year By Year

Winter
Cost
Summer
Cost
Sarajevo 1984
US$110.9 million
Seoul 1988
US$4 billion
Calgary 1988
US$270 million
Barcelona 1992
US$9.3 billion
Lillehammer 1994
US$1.05 billion
Atlanta 1996
US$1.6 billion
Salt Lake City 2002
US$1.2 billion
Sydney 2000
AUS$6.6 billion
Torino 2006
US$3.6 billion
Athens 2004
US$15 billion
Vancouver 2010
CDN$1.7 billion
Beijing 2008
US$43 billion
Sochi 2014
US$51 billion
London 2012
US$13.9 billion

Putin gave the contract of around $7 billion ( 14% of the total revenue ) to his known comrades Arkady and Boris Rotenberg.

Corruption- Is Putin The One To Blame ?

The huge spending in the Games has been in news for a long time now.Adding to this, was the article published by Joshua Jaffa in the Bloomberg Businessweek, where he made the details of 21 Winter Games contracts public.Vladimir Putin has been accused of handing these high revenue contract(amounting to $7 billion) to his close friends, Arkady and Boris Rotenberg.
Corruption cases on many of such contracts have been initiated.Way back in 2012, the Russian Federation Investigation Committee filed complaints against 2 contractors involved in the Fisht Olympic stadium.They have been accused of false acounting and unjustified estimates.The losses to the state till July 2012 piled up to a staggering $245 million.
Though 10 days ago, Putin denied any evidence of corruption creeping into the Federation proceedings.

One year before the Sochi Winter Games
One year before the Sochi Winter Games | Source

The following video shows how the preparations for the Sochi Olympics has disrupted the lives of the local people.Little does the world know about the problems people in Sochi, Russia have to face due to Putin's orders.These residents are denied even the basic rights of electricity and water supply due to construction work of the Games' venues.

It seems like the Russian Government chooses to spent billions on the upcoming games and none on its own citizens.

Sochi Olympics 2014 Opening Ceremony

Do you feel safe to attend the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014?

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Russia caught Tamerlan Tsarnaev on wiretap in 2011
Russia caught Tamerlan Tsarnaev on wiretap in 2011 | Source

Russian Security Service VS Jihadi Bombers

In a recent event in the October, last year a Jihadi suicide bomber killed herself in a bus in Volvograd, claiming the life of 6 innocent people.29 and 30 December witnessed 2 more bombings, one at the city's main train station and the other on a trolleybus, killing 30 people.These unfortunate events have not only raised concerns for the people pouring in from all places of the world, but also the safety of the players is at stake.Speculators claim that the Winter Games pose the best opportunity for the Jihadi groups to showcase their prowess.
In order to secure Sochi, a 'ring of steel' has been placed around it.Andrei Soldatov, the leading Russian expert of the Russian security services, wrote: "It seems the Russian secret services do not understand that maintaining control over everyone and everything (essentially the idea inherited from the Soviet past) and preventing a terrorist attack are far from being the same thing."
The President Vladimir Putin has assured the people that the 2014 games would be the safest games in the history.All we can do is wait and see who wins the battle, the Russians or the Jihadi bombers.

Jihadi millitants in Syria plan on attacking the Sochi 2014 games
Jihadi millitants in Syria plan on attacking the Sochi 2014 games | Source
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Sochi Olympics Against The Historical Sentiments

The Winter Olympics in Sochi mark the 150th anniversary of the Russian triumph over the Circassians in 1864.These games are a reminder of the 101 years of brutal sufferings in the hands of the Russians.Krasana Polyana, the site for this year's snow events, marked the victory of the Russians and they paraded there on the 12th of May, 1864.As the games draw closer, so do conflicts witht he ethnic Circassian group.It has been argued that there's an information war going on, the main aim of which is to liquidate the history of genocide and war.

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Putin's LGBT-Phobia

In a move which is called to be a traditional Russian propaganda, Vladimir Putin signed into law a new legislation that bans the passing of knowledge of LGBT to anyone else.According to this move, anyone who tries to spread the knowledge of the LGBT community to children or anyone else can be fined up to £18000 and face up to 90 days of imprisonment.Widely referred to as the 'Anti Gay Law', this law has led to widespread resentment.Coca Cola withdrew the sponsorship, followed by many world leaders' disagreement to attend the Games as a sign of disagreement to such policies.
In an interview earlier this year, Putin told in an interview "I myself know some people who are gay. We're on friendly terms. I'm not prejudiced in any way." Though his actions hardly say so.

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Whatever be the speculations and controversies, everyone is excited for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and thousands of famous performers which will adore the platform in February.There are numerous facts that make the 2014 Games even more interesting.You can catch up the cool facts in my hub-'Interesting Facts About The Winter Olympics'.

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      Samuel Parkins 3 years ago

      Nicely written bro.