Wow! As you can imagine the news media of all sorts as well as regular people in blogs and forums are talking about our Olympic bid’s success. The win’s Pros and Cons arguments seem even more heated than before the vote: new infrastructure vs environmental worries, higher salaries vs high inflation, pride and recognition vs prospects of weaker foreign policy, ability vs inability to complete construction on time, international spotlight vs corruption – you name it, its been talked about. Whose shares went up? What will happen to people who live in and around the areas of constructions? What will happen to the “Olympic” money? Will the Olympics be profitable? Will it become’s Putin’s project for the upcoming years (after he leaves office next year after second term as President)? Both optimists and pessimists know all the answers, and they are completely opposite :) The truth, as always, lays somewhere in between. But everybody agrees – making this Olympics a success is a big exam for Russia.

I’ll try to avoid covering the arguments about all this questions as right now all of it is just speculations and personal views, and will stick to the facts.

So, how did Russia react to Sochi’s win? Mostly with shock and cheer! A lot of people, even the one’s who really wanted the win, did not believe in it. I’ve read that Russian betting offices lost over 10 million rubles (~$390 000). Betting is not that popular in Russia, but the point is they burned on this. A lot of people feel pride (so do I :)), and most are lost in guesses on how and how much this will change Russia’s South, and people’s lives.

July 5th (because of the time difference, it was 5th in Sochi when results were announced in Guatemala) will very likely become an official holiday in Sochi, this idea is already being proposed by Sochi’s mayor, Viktor Kolodyazhny. Russian businesses celebrated this victory with enthusiasm and introducing “olympic” sales. For example Russia’s biggest online store introduced 20% off almost all items for purchases on July 5th ans 6th, several travel agencies introduced lower rates to Sochi for those who’ll order next 10 days, “Ural airlines” introduced special “Olympic” rate for people going to Sochi for it’s development — from construction workers and engineers to sportsmen and their trainers, etc.

Anyways, I’ll keep an eye on the developments and keep you posted ;)


  1. 1
    July 7th, 2007 at 23:02

    The amount of criticism and speculation that has been posted on this topic over the last few days is amazing. I must admit that I have some concerns about the infrastructure, but can’t people be happy for Russia for one day and remember that there are seven years to prepare?
    See my blog post on the Sochi Olympics for links to pictures and lots of other blog postings on the topic.

  2. 2
    July 8th, 2007 at 0:07

    Reading throught the Russian analytics and blogs, I’d say a lot of people who unbiasedly critisizing Russia on spending money on “olympics” rather then on “improving lives”, fail to understand that only less then $2 billion out on twelve will be spent on Olympic projects, everything else goes for infrastructure, including most money from federal and regional budgets – this means they ARE infact spending this money on improving people’s lives. The “hotels” and “resort” projects are financed by the private investments, and even some stadiums that will be constructed for the Olympics are financed by the private investments, as they will be converted for business use after the games – this was the deal from the beginning.

    Then there are doubting ability to complete on time based on previous performances. But this is not previous years, this is highest level of international commitment, they know it, and im sure they’ll stick to the plan. How it will go? – lets wait and see, but I’m being optimistic.

    Over all, though, people are very happy we got it, you can tell it by reading comments in various russian social networks..

    Russophile, off-topic question: did “Sochi Olympics” in the last sentence of your comment had a link to your post? It’s highlighted, but no link, even in admin mode. I just want to know if its something I need to address. thnx!

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