Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/20/13 at 07:43 AM ET
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
But if Canada is of the belief it’s got Olympic problems — and the impending National Goaltending Crisis is no small thing — it should be comforting to know that the overseers of the Sochi Games have a far more daunting set of challenges in their view. Sochi’s woes go well beyond the hard-to-fathom fact that Russia’s first crack at hosting a Winter Games is being planned for a subtropical seaside locale that makes balmy Vancouver look like Siberia. To tackle that problem, organizers have reportedly stored a winter’s worth of snow should none fall in February.
As for the ever-expanding raft of other issues — well, the solutions might not be as cold and soft.
Less than seven months from the opening ceremony, the 2014 Olympics are already promising to be one of the most controversial in history — and that’s just among the folks in the accounting department. Various reports suggest that the costs of the Games have careered out of control. The price to run Sochi, initially budgeted at $12 billion, is said to have reached $50 billion according to a recent article in The Economist. (The Vancouver Olympics, by contrast, billed out at about $9 billion.) There are accusations that widespread corruption is gobbling up large chunks of this cash. Critics of Vladimir Putin are already suggesting that the Russian president’s most famous act of sporting larceny is no longer the petty pocketing of Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring.
Boris Nemtsov, an opposition leader, has called Sochi “an unprecedented thieves’ caper.”
As Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess master turned politician, tweeted in the wake of The Economist report: “I never doubted (Putin) and his cronies would ‘take the gold’!”
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