A crumbling Sochi hides behind Olympic facades

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  • Drew1house PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    The Salt Lake Olympics with all of its problems cost 2.5 billion dollars. That includes the funding for the freeway upgrades and Trax assistance. Most of the Olympic structures are still in use. Sochi cost 40 BILLION dollars. Enough said...

  • happymomto9 Saratoga Springs, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    i have traveled to several cities within russia, primarily within a 100 mile radius of moscow. i was totally amazed at the poor quality of construction of ANYTHING!. i couldn't believe that they would qualify as a first world country? most buildings were constructed from concrete/cinder blocks. very little wood framing. the wealthier people would just plaster over the concrete then wall paper. very depressing.

    these building, though costing millions, won't hold up. but i do wonder how much money the Olympics brings in.

    as a side note, their cars were equally deplorable. very poorly made.

    little "babushakas" sitting on the corners of roads selling little handfuls of sunflower seeds.

    so very sad.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    How did Sochi/Russia get these games? This article is an eye opener.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    Sochi also suffers from the Russian Potempkin syndrome. Potempkin led an advance party before Katherine made her way south to Yalta. She wanted to see her people and how they lived. So Potempkin build facades along the way of bright happy homes with joyful peasants -- Potempkin Villages.

    Nikita Krushchev did the same thing between the airport and downtown -- built a whole bunch of fresh apartment buildings to bamboozel the visiting, gullible diplomats visiting Russia in the early 60's. They were falling apart within months of construction. 5 stories -- no elevators.

    Whatever is new in Sochi is artificially created and will not hold up or be needed when the tourists leave -- and tourists will NOT flock to Sochi after the Olympics. It's a 30+ train ride from Moscow!

    The SLOC games were a masterpiece of corrections and forward progression. Ask any officials and they list it as a model action. Today we still reap far greater benefits from the construction than any small problems the doomsayers love to spew.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    The Olympic games are a scam. The host cities almost always end up in debt while the Olympic organization & committee reap huge profits.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    Some folks need to get out before spouting off. SLC is a dream, a paradise and heaven compared to any of the 30+ cities I've been to in the USSR and now most of the independent Republics.

    Sochi is like most. It was ruined by 72 years of communism. Go into nearly any kavartera (apartment building) in Moscow in 1990 and you smelled and saw the same things -- very nice apartments cared by the "owner" but the outside of the building and the foyer and stairs and elevators were owned by everyone (the state) and they smelled of urine, had trash everywhere and had rarely been cleaned.

    Centralized planning breeds such nonsense. Since the fall, the cleptocrcy took over with massive corruption and loosening of freedoms was ever so slight. Ownership of land is still virtually non-existent. Sochi is just what you can expect from central government domination. Welcome to the Brave New World and your latest tour guide is a tepid Obama.

  • wtfhinutah SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    That's quite a nice leap you took there from Huntington, MD. You know what they say about assumptions, right? No biggie, like all, you would be welcomed back by us.

    I too love SLC and complained nothing of it. Only complaining about the Olympics and the fiasco that was the SLOC.

  • IsaacsTM Huntingtown, MD
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    Must be tough wtfhinutah living in South Salt Lake, where just like Sochi, "The residents ... have lived for years with no running water or sewage system." I wonder if you spend a few years in Sochi's slums if you would then yearn to come back to comfortable, peaceful, prosperous Salt Lake, even it its worst areas? I grew up in SLC and love coming back to visit a few times a year. It is beautiful, clean and prosperous compared to so many other places (I.e., Detroit). I am amazed when I hear of people living right in the middle of such a great city and can only complain about it.

  • wtfhinutah SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    Oh no, say it ain't so Wally! If you want coruption on a world stage, look no further that the Salt Lake Winter Olympics.

    Just like Sochi, the Salt Lake Olympics did nothing to aleviate our homelessness, our slums, or have a positive effect on our poor and down-trodden. Why should it be any different in Russia?

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    It's a shame that these centrally-controlled nations have to put up such a farce to appear successful. They have to in order to save face and hold influence; if Sochi isn't a bristling new modern super-city for the Olympics, it looks bad on Putin and, by extension, all of Russia, because of the nature and claims of communist control.

    If you go some place in the United States, like say, Chicago, it is only a discredit to the city, county, and their local policies; it's not something the central government can (or should) help, and because of that, it doesn't (or shouldn't) directly impact or represent other places in the United States that succeed and are socially and economically healthy.

  • Kaotic USA, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 12:19 a.m.

    Not so much different than our own corrupt and greedy government...let's use the money for other things and do what's not best for our people. Do we spend money to help our own people or do we use that money to try and impress the rest of the world? Does this sound familiar or what?!