I'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.