Putin Staking Reputation on Sochi


As Britain continues to enjoy the publicity bump from its 2012 Summer Olympics, Russia appears to be facing serious obstacles in its delivery of a successful Winter Olympics, now less than one year away. President Vladimir Putin has put his personal reputation behind staging the upcoming Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where he owns a vacation home. Unfortunately, challenges are mounting on all fronts.

This issue is not a reluctance to spend money. On the contrary, these Games will be the most expensive ever staged, summer or winter. Current estimates have Russia spending almost $50 billion. By comparison, the 2008 Beijing Games cost approximately $40 billion. Britain got away with hosting its "austerity Games" in London for a mere $12 billion. The most expensive...

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