January 24, 2014

For Putin, Everything Is Riding on Sochi

Brett Forrest, ESPN The Magazine

The Associated Press

Like almost no national leader before him, Putin has expended personal capital on these Olympics. In 2007 he presented Russia's Olympic bid -- speaking in both English and French, which surprised most everyone -- to the International Olympic Committee in Guatemala. He then pledged $12 billion from the state budget to build the Sochi Olympics from scratch. (The 2010 Vancouver Olympics cost $7 billion.) The first of that $12 billion flowed into Sochi from the state starting in late 2007, funding the construction of ski resorts, roadways, rinks and power plants. It soon became clear that Putin's estimate would have to be adjusted. Considerably. Last February RIA Novosti, Russia's state media service, announced that the Olympics had cost the government $50 billion, transforming Sochi into...

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TAGGED: Vladimir Putin, Russia, Sochi Olympics

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