The 50 Billion Dollar Sochi Olympics

The 50 Billion Dollar Sochi OlympicsI'm a big fan of the Olympics. Both summer and winter, I devour it like candy, cheering on all of Canada's athletes. I've blogged every medal won by Canada since I started this blog over 11 years ago. I'm an event guy, and there's no bigger event on this planet than the Olympics.

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics are going to look like a steal compared to these Sochi Games. Those 2010 Games, which provided us with so many amazing memories, cost seven billion dollars. Vladimir Putin's 2014 games will cost over 50 billion dollars.

There's a great piece in the New Yorker about how this Winter Olympics is the greatest financial boondoggle in the history of the Games.

Exhaustive investigations by the opposition figures Boris Nemtsov, Leonid Martynyuk, and Alexei Navalny reveal dubious cost overruns and outright embezzlement. And all this lavish spending (largely paid for by Russian taxpayers) has been, as Nemtsov and Martynyuk write, “controlled largely by businesspeople and companies close to Putin.”

I'm ready to tune in and cheer on Canada, but you can't help but feel for the Russian people who will pay the price for this epic boondoggle.

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Comments (15 - click here to join in!)

519 Rob

There was a piece on CTV news (maybe) last week about the costs asscoiated, and how they are being paid for.

The residents of Sochi got a bunch of new buses.

Old fee to ride 1.00 (I assume Ruble?)
New fee to ride 5.00.

Could you imagine!
Many residents spoke about the prices of milk and bread etc doubling - or worse.

February 3, 2014 @ 11:40 AM


Russia has always been a corrupt country - long before the Olympics came along.

Its only fitting the IOC (speaking of corrupt) would choose them to hold their games. Just as they did with China in 2008.

February 3, 2014 @ 11:50 AM

4x4 Time

"I'm ready to tune in and cheer on Canada, but you can't help but feel for the Russian people who will pay the price for this epic boondoggle" - I feel the same way for us when the Pan Am games costs come in...

February 3, 2014 @ 12:24 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@4x4 Time

I've been consistent with my thoughts about the Pan Am games...

I don't care about them at all. I don't even care about the Commonwealth Games. When it comes to these events, it's the Olympics or nothing for me.

February 3, 2014 @ 12:37 PM

4x4 Time

@Mike - I agree with you, but we will indeed pay for these useless games..

February 3, 2014 @ 12:44 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@4x4 Time

True. At least we'll get this, which I'm excited about:

February 3, 2014 @ 12:49 PM


Argie is right. Russia plus the IOC = the most corrupt situation possible.

February 3, 2014 @ 1:58 PM


Russia/China + IOC = CORRUPT??

WHAT? Say it ain't so. I'm shocked.

February 3, 2014 @ 4:27 PM


If you think this year's Winter Olympics are corrupt, just wait until we hear what happens with the preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia....the stories coming out of that will be even better.

February 3, 2014 @ 5:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


When it comes to corruption, the Olympics gets the gold medal. There are just so many opportunites with the dozens of venues and new developments required.

Having said that, I'm a sucker for athletes competing at the highest level. The IOC and Putin may have their hands dirty, but when the puck drops between Canada and Norway on February 13, it's a hockey game, and this entire country will take notice.

February 3, 2014 @ 5:28 PM


Totally agree-once they get going, all the other stuff goes out the door.
Let the games begin!

February 3, 2014 @ 6:23 PM

Blind Dave

What did I hear? I think it was $150 CAD for a steak and $10 for a solitary cucumber!!!

February 3, 2014 @ 8:31 PM


The cost of Sochi is more than all the other games put together and 35 billion of the 50 plus billion has vanished into thin air with no accounting of it.

February 4, 2014 @ 6:33 AM

this guest

50 Scarborough
to Sochi

February 4, 2014 @ 8:16 AM

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