Monday, July 29, 2013

And in other news... Water is Wet, and Bears Sh*t in the Woods...

It seems that the Sochi Winter Games are a massive boondoggle of corruption and environmental damage. The Economist looks into the state of the Sochi Games.

WITH seven months to go before the 2014 winter Olympics, Sochi is a gigantic construction site. Lorries run up and down dusty roads, excavators turn earth inside out, and 70,000 workers from every corner of the old Soviet Union dig, lift, pull and churn day and night. Imagining the finished venue is hard. “This is where bird lakes are supposed to be,” says Svetlana, a local activist, pointing to a pile of dirt.
In many ways Sochi is an odd choice for the winter games. It has a subtropical climate and is one of the very few places in Russia where snow is scarce. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held close to the Black Sea on swampy ground, once infested by malarial mosquitoes. Temperatures there rarely fall below zero. The lower slopes of the Caucasus Mountains are not guaranteed snow, so the organisers have stored last winter’s.

Yet President Vladimir Putin sees Sochi 2014 as his own pet project: a sign of his power over people and nature, and of his international legitimacy. That Mr Putin spends a lot of time in Sochi adds a personal touch. Yet, as Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and opposition leader who has written several reports on Sochi, argues, far from being a model of fair play, Sochi has emerged as a model of crony capitalism, lawlessness, inefficiency and disregard for nature and people. “The Sochi Olympics are an unprecedented thieves’ caper in which representatives of Putin’s government are mixed up along with the oligarchs close to the government,” Mr Nemtsov writes.

Show of hands please...  anyone who is at all surprised by this?

Didn't think so....

1 comment:

Biki Honko said...

I didn't realize that it was a temperate location. This just solidifies my feeling that the IOC is nothing that a bunch of fools that choose areas by the amount of kick back. They are the most hidebound of olde guys, and it needs a complete shakedown and make over.