Despite all efforts by the Western media to make Russia and Sochi Olympics look bad, the real situation confirms just the opposite.
Forget the constant allegations of corruption in the International Olympic Committee after it awarded Russia the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Forget all the smirks in the media that 2014 Games were the most expensive ever. Forget contradictory Russian gambling laws, which allow very little betting on the Games. The 2014 Sochi Olympics is a huge success for Russia, and the country is winning big after gambling big on the Olympics.
The lead-up to the Games
Several weeks before the start of the Games, Sochi Olympics were already generating buzz in the media. But it wasn’t the kind of interesting insights you’d expect from the newspapers. The whole topic can be summarized as “What went wrong with Sochi 2014 and how Russia will fail miserably.”
Failing Olympic torches, which will go out during the relay; corruption allegations in Russian Olympic Committee; death threats to athletes; terrorist threats to the host city; enormous cost overruns; major construction delays; political drama; and of course the very public fight for gay rights during the Games. All of these topics received daily coverage in the Western media trying to undermine President Putin’s policies and general state of affairs in the Russian Federation.
There were even talks that the 2014 Olympics are under an elaborate ancient curse where the ghosts of murdered Circassians will return to haunt the Black Sea shores with all the Olympic athletes and guests there.
Putin gambling big on the Olympic Games
Sochi Games were a big gamble on behalf of Vladimir Putin, and it’s not the kind you place at online sportsbooks in Russia. The Russian President wagered much more than just money to build the facilities in Sochi – the country’s reputation was at stake, and the odds were not in Russia’s favor.
Hosting Winter Olympics in the subtropical climate of a summer resort, which is what Sochi is. Moreover, hosting them right next to the country’s most violent and volatile region – Caucasus republics. Not every head of state would have the balls to do that. And Putin is personally responsible for winning the hosting rights, remember his passionate speech in three languages before the IOC in 2007?
Russia’s big gamble on Sochi was to show the whole world and of course their own population, that even after it’s been over 2 decades since the end of Cold War, the Russian Federation is back to being a global superpower.
Vladimir Putin has even found his own words, speaking about the psychological aspect of the Games. Russian gambling news reported the President’s opinion: ”After the collapse of the Soviet Union, after the dark and, let us be honest, bloody events in the Caucasus, the public attitude in Russia became very negative and pessimistic. We have to pull ourselves together and realize that we can deliver large-scale projects on time and with high standards.”
Media coverage since the start of the Games
Countless reports by the Western media that Sochi isn’t ready for the Games, nothing has been completed, there’s dirt and debris all over the place, were proved very wrong when the Opening Ceremony was witnessed by over 3 billion people staring amazed at the show into their TV sets. Over 60 heads of states were there to witness the event live.
Before the Games, innumerable websites, twitter accounts, Facebook pages, message boards and so on, were created to showcase Sochi mishaps. Well, some of them were true, the famous double toilet was especially popular with the athletes, but it was more of a sightseeing attraction, rather than an epic fail by the organizers.
At the Opening Ceremony, one of the rings didn’t fully open, we’re not going to speculate why, and certainly not going to pay any attention that it represented the American continent, stuff like this happens all the time.
There was also an array of reports from Western journalists that the water in their hotels is absent, and if it is present – then it contains something “very dangerous”. Then along came allegations that the Russian security services are monitoring everyone 24/7, and no place is free from surveillance even the showers. And of course, constant chit-chat that no one is even coming to see the Games was the popular topic as well.
Russian side remained calm and silent, apart from some small comments by the local authorities, none of the big shots has addressed any of the allegations. The tactics paid off when the athletes and guests of Sochi have started speaking their minds. Comments like “it’s fabulous down here”, “I’ve never seen anything like this”, “this is so much better than any of the previous Games” were among the top favorites.
What’s really going on in Sochi?
Negative media reports on Sochi proved wrong
• A whole bad-mouthing campaign against Sochi in the media has been proved wrong
• The facts, the comments from athletes and guests, reveal the real situation at the Games
• Russian gamble on Sochi Olympics has paid off, regardless that it wasn’t under Russian gambling laws
Now, you have to wonder, who’s telling the truth. It’s very hard to doubt the athletes competing in the Games. Why would they say the conditions are excellent if they are not? After all they have to prepare for the events and doing so in the atmosphere of fun and excitement is the best way to do so.
But when the live feeds of the sporting events themselves have started coming in on the first day of the Games – the doubts vanished. The 2014 Sochi Games are extremely well organized, there are huge crowds at every event and even more people waiting in lines to get that “last ticket”, the streets are beautiful, the conditions are excellent. Of course, there are some glitches here and there, but they are definitely not of the magnitude the Western media has reported.
Remember the story of the US bobsledder Johnny Quinn? Johnny got stuck in his bathroom and had to break down the door to get out. However, his misfortunes didn’t end here. He went on to get stuck in one of the elevators, but managed to get out without breaking anything down. The story is now more of a funny urban legend rather than a big mishap by the organizers. Johnny even joked about it: saying he had to use his “bobsled push training to break out.” Let’s hope this unusual training routine has helped him later on in the competition.
Did Russian gamble on the Olympics pay off?
Since the facts about the real situation in Sochi speak for themselves, it is now clear that the Games are a huge success. Russia has won big after betting big on 2014 Sochi Olympics. And quite expectantly all the negative reports in the media have helped Russia to obtain some points when they have been proved very wrong.
We’re not going to go into the financial details or count the winnings of those who bet on sports in Russia, but it is clear now: you have to bet big in order to win big. Putin’s gamble has paid off and will definitely leave a long-standing legacy not only for the Russian people, athletes and spectators, but for the whole world.
Check out the whole series of feature articles dealing with Russia’s big gamble on the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.