Traditionally, hosting the Olympic Games is a way for a country to put its best foot forward and Vladimir Putin had a great opportunity to change the world’s perception of Russia when his nation won the bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. While the athletes should take center stage at such a grand sporting event, the headlines leading up to the Sochi Games have been covering all sorts of ancillary issues that will forever be associated with this particular Olympic Games. These are the four non-sporting issues that grabbed headlines during the lead-up to the Sochi Games and these issues will be discussed and examined when granting all future bids for the Olympics, whether they be Winter or Summer Games.
Terrorist Threats at the Sochi Games
Any event of this magnitude has the potential for terror strikes, but the Russian’s reluctance to allow outsiders to help them in their counter-terrorism efforts has grabbed headlines and concerned many security experts. All future sites hoping to host the Olympics will have to show a willingness to work with the global community in order to win the bid.
Russia’s Record of Human Rights
Russia’s record on human rights has been rather poor and has drawn the ire of activists the world over. The nation’s treatment of homosexuals has raised many eyebrows and caused a stir in the global media. Moving forward, the IOC will likely give a closer examination of the host nation’s policies on gay rights and other human rights so as to avoid the negative publicity associated with the controversial Sochi Games.
Sochi’s Poor Accommodations
Twitter and Facebook were filled with reports of sub-par accommodations as journalists and sporting enthusiasts arrived in Sochi. Cleanliness, sanitation, organization, and basic amenities all seemed to be lacking and this will cast a dark shadow over the memory of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Sochi Is Over-Budget
Large sporting events and Olympic host sites have traditionally run over budget but the Sochi Winter Olympics have gone over budget on a level nearly as big as Russia itself. Future host sites will likely have to examine what infrastructure they already have in place and how fiscally responsible it is for them to take on an event of this scale.
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