2014 Sochi Olympics: A crisis in the making.

by Jeremy Noble

sochi olympicsThe Sochi Olympics are supposed to be a collection of outstanding competitions that are seen all around the world, but with unfavorable living conditions for spectators and threats of terrorism looming overhead, this $50 billion showcase of the world’s best athletes is a public relations nightmare.

Based on media reports, after seven years of preparation in Sochi, Russia proved that it didn’t have the adequate resources for supporting the games. Given the $50 billion budget, athletes, spectators and media members are subjected to poor living conditions while questioning where all that money was spent.

Officials are beginning to question if part of the budget was embezzled. According to The Washington Post, “The Russian government [promised it] would spend $6.7 billion on the Olympic facilities. Russia would invest another $16.7 billion on upgrading rails, roads and the infrastructure surrounding Sochi.” The total of the two figures comes to $23.4 billion. We’re left wondering where the rest went. Many think Sochi officials are to be blamed, but Russia denies anything wrong.

Twitter Stream shows unpleasant living conditions.

Spectators and guests are using social media to report the poor living conditions in Sochi. The Twitter handle @SochiProblems has grown in popularity as people are sharing their displeasure with their stay. Some members of the Olympic committee have posted about the lack of running water, dysfunctional bathrooms and large manholes in sidewalks. Some Twitter users, however, suggest that members of the media are blowing the hotel conditions out of proportion.

In preparation for the games, new hotels and athletic facilities were built to accommodate spectators and members of the media, but these hotels and other facilities were incomplete by the time the games started. Members of the media arrived in Sochi and were displeased with the hotel accommodations they received.

Again, Russia had seven years to prepare for the Olympics, so we don’t understand why this situation occurred and we’re not sure who is to blame. The failure to complete the development projects has led to a wide array of displeasure that has been shared through Twitter, and therein lies the growing public relations nightmare.

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Photo credit from The Guardian.

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