As the Sochi Olympics draws near, the world is waiting to see whether the most expensive Winter Games can bring in a new Russia. The Winter Olympics in Sochi will begin in less than a week, and they’re already shaping up to become the most expensive in history. When Russia won the bid to host the games it planned on spending only 12 billion dollars. Recent reports suggest that the real price tag has ended up being several times higher than that. Anya Ardayeva reports from Sochi.
The costs of the Sochi Olympics is estimated to be at least 50 billion U.S. dollars, making it the most expensive Winter Games ever. With the huge investment, Sochi, a resort city, took on a new look with 400 new projects under construction including 14 brand new stadiums and revamped airports and stations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a recent joint interview with six media groups that he sincerely hoped that the world could see “the new face of Russia and the new opportunities here.”
The Russian government also viewed the global spectacle as an opportunity to drive up the country’s economy.
Russia saw economic slowdown in 2013, with merely a 1.2 percent growth in the second and third quarters. “There’s no denying that the dynamic of our development is alarming,” said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on the Fifth Gaidar Forum. Under such circumstances, the government plans to fuel up the country’s economy by some global events like Sochi Olympics and the oil exploitation projects in the Siberian region.
Commentators said that Russia not only places hope of its economic rebound on the Sochi Olympics and the games also have a bearing on the country’s image to the world. Nevertheless, they added, terrorism is still the biggest threat to the success of the games at present.