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Is Sochi 2014 a 'monstrous scam' ?


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Sounds like Russian attitudes to Sochi 2014 are somewhat less than harmonious with just 8 months to go before the Games begin! :wacko:

Sochi Olympics a 'monstrous scam' - Russian opposition
_67896327_67895413.jpgBoris Nemtsov also says the Sochi Olympics is damaging for the local ecosystem

As much as $30bn (£20bn) has been stolen in preparations for next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian opposition leaders say.

Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Martynyuk say the games are "a monstrous scam" and will be the most expensive in history, costing more than $50bn.

A lack of fair competition and secrecy sharply increased the cost, benefitting only businessmen close to President Vladimir Putin, they say in a report.

A Russian official dismissed the claim.

Mr Nemtsov was quoted by Reuters as saying that he would now be pushing for a thorough investigation into the matter by Russian prosecutors.

He also questioned the wisdom of staging the games in a subtropical climate in the city on the Black Sea coast.

But Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who is responsible for the 2014 Games, was quoted as saying: "In spite of envious people, the Russian Winter Olympic Games will be held in the southern capital - subtropical Sochi."

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams said it appeared that Russia was taking any corruption claims related to the Olympics seriously.

Mr Adams said Moscow was addressing the issue "pretty much head-on from the president down", according to the Associated Press news agency.

Medals unveiled
_67896420_67896419.jpgPresident Putin was instrumental in securing the 2014 Winter Olympics for Russia

Mr Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, and Mr Martynyuk, a member of the Solidarity movement, released their report on Thursday after analysing Olympic-related data for six months.

The authors say they reached their conclusions by looking at the gap between the original estimate and the final cost and also comparing it with cost overruns at previous Olympics.

"The expenses for the Winter Olympics in Sochi turned out to be more than all expenses for all the sports structures at the previous 21 Winter Olympics put together," the report says.

It says that "between $25bn and $30bn have been stolen", and this has benefited "only oligarchs and companies close to Mr Putin".

The opposition leaders claim that the stolen funds could have been used to build about 3,000km (1870 miles) of high-speed motorways or provide the housing for 800,000 people in Russia.

They say that the final cost of staging the event will be more than four times higher than the original price tag of $12bn announced by Mr Putin.

Details of their findings were released on the day Mr Putin met International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials in St Petersburg to unveil the medals for the Sochi games.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22720228

Edited by Mainad
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To be fair, I'd be pretty pissed off if the Vancouver Olympics cost that much money... frankly, in a real democracy I don't think such an expense for a WINTER games wouldn't have been allowed.

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This all seems like 'too little, too late'. With just over 8 months to ago, what does he expect? It's too late to reverse course now. The Show (& the spending) MUST go on, as the Spaniards say! :lol: He's just stirring the post for his own personal agenda.

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Luckily, Russia is awash with all that reserve currency. It would've been more unconscionable if it were cash-starved and the people were starving...like a certain dictatorship to its far East.

:huh: What?...United States?... <_<

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"The expenses for the Winter Olympics in Sochi turned out to be more than all expenses for all the sports structures at the previous 21 Winter Olympics put together,"

Wow!

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London could have hosted 4 of their games for one Sochi.

Or Sydney could have hosted, what 10ish?

50 billion dollars is outrageous.

That is $510,204,082 per event, so two events would have more than covered the cost of all of Vancouver's venues

20 million per athlete or almost 3 billion per day. Or 2 million dollars for every minute of the Olympics.

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I am not surprised by the cost. Russia basically created what will be a first-class small city overnight. The venues and infrastructure will be the most state-of-the-art bar none. And then of course you add in the 20% kickback layer; so the real costs might've been probably around $40 billion; just less than what Beijing spent.

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Not really. It is not like the stadium is as high-end as ones in Munich, London or Dallas (to name a few) and there are junior hockey arenas in Canada that are better than the Bolshoy and whatever its partners name is.

I would say its 60% graft, especially if you look at the 'official costs' of the venues.

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For quite some time, despite being surprised with the spectacular venues, i've been worried with the excesses and waste of money they've been doing, and I don't see much of a legacy for these infrastructures (except for, maybe, the Olympic Stadium and the hockey dome. )

Some people complain the Olympics have became something too expensive and almost impossible for host by small countries/cities. But the truth is that it's also the organizers of certain editions to blame because of the excesses and having no plans for a believable legacy (Montreal and Beijing are probably the most notorious examples of this, and Sochi seems to be following Beijing's footsteps) . This is something on where I praise London, which did a good job on this aspect.

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While it doesn't surprise me that those are by far the most expensive Winter Games in history, I'm surprised that it all became that expensive. I mean, the venue construction was fast, mostly - so it's not that costs spiralled out of control due to construction delays.

That does not apply to the Olympic Stadium, however. I mean, that roof construction seems to be really complex, if the stadium still looks very unfinished at this stage. They don't even mention a specific month, let alone a specific date for the opening of the stadium. Have they gotten into trouble with that one? :blink:

Panorama_20130516_L.jpg

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While it doesn't surprise me that those are by far the most expensive Winter Games in history, I'm surprised that it all became that expensive. I mean, the venue construction was fast, mostly - so it's not that costs spiralled out of control due to construction delays.

That does not apply to the Olympic Stadium, however. I mean, that roof construction seems to be really complex, if the stadium still looks very unfinished at this stage. They don't even mention a specific month, let alone a specific date for the opening of the stadium. Have they gotten into trouble with that one? :blink:

Panorama_20130516_L.jpg

Well they have to be finished by the fall because IIRC OC and CC rehearsals begin in November.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hate to give the Daily Fail ad revenue by linking to it, and never know how far to trust its journalism, but there are at least some interesting quotes in this piece from some of Putin's opponents...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2342153/Putins-30bn-calamity-games-Collapsing-buildings-Colossal-corruption-Contract-killings-The-race-complete-Russias-Winter-Olympic-village-mired-scandal.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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I hate to give the Daily Fail ad revenue by linking to it, and never know how far to trust its journalism, but there are at least some interesting quotes in this piece from some of Putin's opponents...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2342153/Putins-30bn-calamity-games-Collapsing-buildings-Colossal-corruption-Contract-killings-The-race-complete-Russias-Winter-Olympic-village-mired-scandal.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Rob that article is astonishing. Of course the IOC is staying silent about all this. Despicable.

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Rob that article is astonishing. Of course the IOC is staying silent about all this. Despicable.

Well yea, because the IOC are almost as corrupt as Putin.

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I'm sure the venues and infrastructure will all be completed on time. Putin will throw every single bit of resource at his disposal to make sure this happens. He cannot allow it to fail. His personal credibility and grip on power would soon slip away if this were ever allowed to happen. Too much is at stake for him to allow this to fail.

Thousands died so Peter the Great could build his spanking new city of St. Petersburg. Millions died so Stalin could transform the country into an industrial superpower. Those were the ruler's pet, personal projects of their time and ordinary lives were completely expendable in making them happen. The Sochi Olympics are in the same vein and is Putin's pet project. Like the pet projects of Peter the Great and Stalin, they will be made to happen at whatever cost it may take. That is the Russian way and has ever been thus for centuries!

We are naive to ever suppose it could have been otherwise!

Edited by Mainad
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