Vai's View: Olympic hosts should be applauded, not criticized

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  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    $50 Billion spent by Russia on Olympics in Sochi.

    $3 Billion spent by Salt Lake Olympic Committee with Romney's leadership.

    Thanks Romney for keeping us out of bondage.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    The spending on the Olympics is Russia's business. As long as the Games run the way they are supposed to go, then the rest of it is internal stuff for the Russians (and to some degree the IOC) to worry about. Just enjoy the Games and stop worrying about the rest of it. Vai is right on this.

    (And I'm sadly surprised that one commenter here found a way to criticize Obama. Good grief, give it a rest.)

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    Like just about everything else I've read from Vai, I could not agree more with his take on this topic.

    I'm reminded of a episode of the Ruby Wax talk show in the early 90's when she was showing herself being escorted through the Moscow apartment of a woman who wanted dearly to show how her life had improved following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

    Unfortunately, despite the almost desperate attempts by the very gracious woman, Ruby, in her over-the-top example of extreme New York self-centered haughtiness, did her best to show her contempt and disregard for the humble apartment. I was so ashamed to know that the world viewed Ruby's behavior as prototypical American. It gave me greater insight into why the term "Ugly American" had become so prevalent in so many parts of the world.

    The fact is that our system of government and economy has, in fact, produced a nation of unprecedented success and accomplishment. Yet, it has been done despite the atypical but still too frequent boorish and thoughtless behavior of some of our fellow citizens.

    The more that behavior becomes the norm, the less successful we will be.

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    I think Vai misses the point of the criticism. The west is upset with Putin's pro-traditional family positions. His restrictions on the "gay agenda" were the catalyst that made hating on the games acceptable. Safety concerns are likely overblown (no country would send leaders if they thought there would be an attack) but Obama can't be seen hanging out with someone who is not hip. Too bad, it was his loss to be absent from the opening ceremonies.

  • RB Scott Boston, MA
    Feb. 14, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    Interesting piece, but Vai seems to miss or ignore the fact that some of the of the "outrage," such as it is, turns around that likely prospect that Vladimir Putin et all may have siphoned off billions that were earmarked for The Olympics. Hence the brown drinking water, inoperable toilets, doors and elevators that don't open as they should etc. I have nothing against Russia or Russians. Quite the contrary. Putin, however, is a different matter.

  • Tokyo_Expat Tokyo, Japan
    Feb. 14, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    I think the overall premise of your column Vai is spot on. Only issue is the extravagant spending on these games. Russia/Sochi somehow even managed to surpass the Beijing Olympics by $7 billion ($51 billion in total) for an event half the size (winter vs summer games). If they're willing to spend that type of money on games and not deal with some of the more long-term issues like healthy drinking water then they certainly better be prepared for some criticism. Agreed that some of it may be unfair, but it's part of both the good and bad of hosting the games.

  • Grandpa Mike SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    Well said and absolutely true.

  • jaredw007 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    Vai, as you said the Russians are a proud people. So proud they spent about 50 billion dollars to try to turn a little known resort town into a viable Olympic venue. Being an Olympic host, there's a lot muscle flexing and I hate using the term lipstick on a pig but there's a lot of that too. In Russia's case they clearly want to show off their country to the world and make Sochi a popular tourist trap. I suppose Rome wasn't built in a day but when you become an Olympic host, criticism comes with the territory. Yes, a lot of criticism is petty and silly but the good Russian people will either have to address those concerns and get better or grow thicker skin.

  • vcsheffield Iowa City, IA
    Feb. 14, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Vai, As usual, thanks for your great comments. As someone whose son served a mission in Moscow, Russia, I couldn't agree more with your comments about how we should appreciate Russia's efforts as Olympic hosts. I also couldn't agree more with Cris Collinsworth about missions. Thanks!

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 2:53 p.m.

    I love Vai's take on this. Great story about the Russian perspective... and by the way, thanks for knocking out Jose Canseco a few years back!

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 2:35 p.m.