Monday, February 24, 2014

It was Russia...

The Sochi 2014 Olympics are officially over! People won events and medals, countries were happy or sad. But at the end of the day, one of the events most vivid in my mind from the Olympics is the state of shock that athletes, country representatives, and the media went into over the state of…well, their surroundings. Very popular was the twitter hashtag #SochiProblems (just go check it out for yourself). Some of the complaints: dirty water that looked like beer coming from the faucets, hotel rooms not being finished, entire hotels not being finished, stray dogs running through everywhere, double toilets, not having doorknobs on hotel doors, the list goes on and on. People were shocked about the state of how "well put together" Sochi was for the Olympics.

Personally, I'm not surprised. What do you expect when you decide to host the Olympics in a country that is commonly known as a part of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) for being a developing country? It is not developed. It won't develop overnight. Had anyone even heard of Sochi, before it became a contender to host the Olympics? Sochi was selected as the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics in July 2007. At that time, it had zero world-class sports facilities. Meaning, Sochi had six and a half years to build world-class facilities for each of the events taking place, not to mention rebuilding and creating the infrastructure necessary to host athletes, representatives, and the media. Lets look at the number from Sochi 2014 (originally found in CNN article here):

Cost: $51 billion 
Number of Athletes: 2,850 (plus 1,650 paralympians) 
Number of Security Personnel: 3,7000
Number of Media Representatives: 13,477
Countries Represented: 89 
Number of Countries Fans have Come From: 124
Number of Volunteers: 25,000
Total: a LOT of infrastructure & housing to build in 6.5 years

Sure, there may be ways to make this possible. But hosting the Olympics in a developing city, in a developing country- is it really that surprising how things turned out?

**Note: some people found their accommodations to be great, and thought things went very smoothly. However, I think to a majority of the world, people heard more about #SochiProblems and all of the negative aspects. Thus, what I'm commenting on. I'm sure there were nice places, and spots- but a majority of the publicity from Sochi was shock over some of the surroundings.**

Now lets look more at the price tag of these Olympics, an estimated $51,000,000,000. This is estimated to cost more than every single other Winter Olympics, COMBINED (Think Progress). The next closest was Nagano, in 1998.

With 51 billion dollars, you could make 54 thousand people millionaires.

With $1 billion, you can buy the Chicago Cubs, or the Toronto Maple Leafs!

For a cheap $945 million, you can buy A.C. Milan (hey football fans!)

For $1 billion, you can buy FIVE F-35C Lightning II Fighter Jets.

With $1 billion, you can restore the environment of the Gulf of Mexico.

With $1 million, you can provide clean drinking water for 50,000 people. (think about that one here)

With $3 million, you can provide food to 10,000 hungry children for 10 months.

With just $2 million, supply vaccinations for over 500,000 stray dogs and cats. (again, think of the relation).

So, what do you think here? Were the 2014 Sochi Olympics worth the price tag?

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