4) Massive Overspend
So far the Sochi Olympics have cost Russia about £30 billion. It’s difficult to assess whether that’s a lot or not in comparison to other sporting events. But when you are told that £30 billion is more expensive than any Olympic Games ever (summer or winter) you realise that something has gone awry. It’s almost four times the cost of the London Olympics and more than six times the cost of the Vancouver Winter Games.
There are screams of corruption across the country. Russia is certainly not new to corrupt officials lining their pockets, but this really is on another scale. When around 26% of Russians live below the poverty line, to see greedy officials making a butt load of bucks is a bit of a sore point.
Just two state-owned companies, Olympstroy and Russian Railways have received half of the entire Olympics budget. The buildings these two giants have made (compared to similar constructions) have cost more than twice as much as they should have.
It’s no real surprise that the massive Olympic contracts have predominantly gone to Putin’s best buddies. Putin’s childhood friend Arkady Rotenberg, for instance, holds nearly 39% of the Mostotrest company, which amassed a dozen Olympics-related state contracts. They built virtually all of the highways in the area making Arkady a wealthy (wealthier) boy.