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2014 Sochi Olympics Scandal; Most Expensive Olympics in History

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06-01-2013, 08:03 AM
  #26
HabsByTheBay
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
The child of Mayor Jean Drapeau - see quotations paragraph of the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Drapeau

"The Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby."

The Montreal Olympic deficit topped 1 Billion. A few generations later, after trips to other nations, we are introduced to the Russian relative living in Sochi.

The Montreal Olympic Stadium is an impressive structure built on the site that as kids growing up we called Morgan Hill. Tobogganing in the winter, soap box derby in the summer. Hardly used today. Proposals include converting it to a mini storage.
Let's not forget it also killed the Expos, since that stadium is a freakin' disaster area for baseball.

They should have expanded Jarry Park for baseball and left them there.

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06-01-2013, 12:02 PM
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I can tell you one thing though, with the money they have, they could build a city as big as new york in one year, not even kidding
In Korea they can turn a rice paddy into a million person city in ~24 months. Not suggesting Qatar makes any sense whatsoever (it doesn't) but what they're claiming to do is certainly doable.

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06-01-2013, 12:05 PM
  #28
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The idea of building a city to host a one-time sporting event is just flabbergasting. Suggests a total disconnect with fundamental economic and urban-planning theory.
tarheel, unparalleled in the history of mankind. Its absolutely mindblowing. Beyond even the imaginings of John Le Carre meets Ian Fleming. Its incredible. Makes Glendale look like absolute Paragons' of fiscal prudence, the NHL munificent, benevolent & caring stewards of the game of hockey. The Russians in winning the WC committing to building a half a dozen or more 48,000+ seat stadiums over the next 8yrs from 2010 on. Combined with Sochi of course. And Bet your Bippy the Russians, Putin, Medvedev, up to their necks in it down in the Desert Kingdom of Qatar, elsewhere. Hundreds of billions of dollars involved. Trillions. Thirty billion missing from Sochi mere pocket change... maybe I should sink some serious coin into ocean going tugs. Their going need fresh water. Never mind your $100 for a barrel of crude. $500 for a barrel of fresh water Comrade Boris. Its either that or you can try replenishing your precious bodily fluids with Vodka in the 148F heat of the Middle East . Start hauling icebergs down from Labrador through the Straits of Oman. Hire some Psych-Job Mercenaries to pilot a fleet of 2000hp Cigarette Boats with deck mounted sub machine guns & rocket launchers to protect my cargo. Take out the Iranians along the way when they get aggressive. Momma used to tell me she was worried I might start WW3.


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06-01-2013, 12:20 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Any idea how far along the upgrades and construction have come, e.g., are they likely to be ready for the Olympics? Timetable?
One guy who is competing there (barring injury) had visited the competition place few months ago and said to me that some venues and construction will be ready maybe days before opening ceremony. For what it's worth. He went there in 2011 and said 'there wasn't anything working'.

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06-01-2013, 12:42 PM
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They all sound pretty confident...

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"We have nearly completed our international test event programme and we’re setting more tests than any other Games. With our venues built and thoroughly tested through international competition, Sochi 2014 can fully focus on the final step – the staging of memorable and inspirational Games."
http://www.aljazeera.com/sport/olymp...251895728.html

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"Russian speed skater and Olympic champion Svetlana Zhurova says not only will Sochi be ready on time but it will present the greatest winter Olympics in history. In an exclusive interview to Al Jazeera she said: "We won the bid in Guatemala because we believed in our dream and now it is important for us to do the best we can to make the Sochi Olympics the greatest in the history of the Winter Games."

"Even though it is a year before the Games begin, construction works for all the venues have been completed. We did it, not because we wanted to show the world how great we are, but because it is the only possible way for our country, taking into account the famous Russian mentality and tendency to leave things until the last moment."

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06-01-2013, 12:51 PM
  #31
Killion
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Great. In an interview to Al Jazeera.
Fills me full of confidence that does.

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06-01-2013, 01:15 PM
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Are you thinking they misquoted or misnamed the people being quoted?


Last edited by Dado: 06-01-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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06-01-2013, 01:51 PM
  #33
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No not at all. Its their entire premise, how they frame & present things that I have a problem with. Biased. Subversives.

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06-01-2013, 02:01 PM
  #34
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Because fraud and corruption never happens over here.
That's a terrible argument. Corruption does vary a great deal from country to country. Some countries do have much less corruption than others. No country has zero corruption, of course, and nobody suggest they do.

In the same way, some countries have higher rates of murder and **** than other countries.

It's silly to say, "big deal" or "who are we to judge". Corruption is bad. Russia is much more corrupt than the rest of Europe. This is a fact.

Transparency International does a good job of measuring and tracking corruption if you'd like to learn about the issue.

But it makes no sense at all to just say, oh, we have corruption, too, so we can't judge. MOD


Last edited by Epictetus: 06-01-2013 at 02:17 PM. Reason: No deep political talk, please.
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06-01-2013, 11:25 PM
  #35
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$50 billion!! Oh my...

I remember watching the China Olympics with their billion dollar opening and closing ceremonies and their $40 billion overall budget thinking no Summer or Winter Games would approach such a number again. This was the commonly held perception at the time too. And yet, here we are, less than a decade later, and Russia will surpass this by a mere $10 billion! Let's keep in mind this is the Winter Olympics too, an event that has less than half the competitions of the Summer Games!

So they want to make this the best Winter Games ever? What is considered the best Winter Games up to this point? Nagano? Lillehammer? Something else?

Slightly off topic, but the best olympics so far were those held in Sydney in 2000 - few problems with traffic, relatively speaking compared to Atlanta; no issues with pollution and oppressive heat like China and Greece; all seats filled at all the events unlike China and Greece; not criticized for being overly commercial like Atlanta; and few, if any, whispers of payoffs to IOC officials to obtain the games. OVerall, still the best, most organized games overall.

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06-02-2013, 05:46 AM
  #36
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No not at all. Its their entire premise, how they frame & present things that I have a problem with. Biased. Subversives.
Uh what? Al-Jazeera is probably one of the most credible media outlets in the world.

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06-02-2013, 07:16 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
No not at all. Its their entire premise, how they frame & present things that I have a problem with. Biased. Subversives.
Al-Jazeera English/International is probably more reliable than CNN International these days. They're basically a separate entity from the the Arab Al-Jazeera.

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06-02-2013, 11:49 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
Uh what? Al-Jazeera is probably one of the most credible media outlets in the world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Al-Jazeera English/International is probably more reliable than CNN International these days. They're basically a separate entity from the the Arab Al-Jazeera.
Yeah, aware their essentially a separate entity, not prone to overarching bias, certainly nowhere near their Arab counterparts in being little more than a platform for ant-western propaganda, however, Ive noted some lack of objectivity, a certain nuance towards pro Russian & Eastern European interests. In the linked article above for example, you think a noted Russian Speedskater with direct interests in the success of these games is going to be entirely objective & candid? That I or anyone else should just take their word for it that everythings on-time, hunky-dory?... you'll excuse me if I dont, as is my right, as is your right or anyone elses to believe it. Likewise with Putins' opponent with his accusations of a $30B theft. He says they've tried to ascertain actual costs & so on, however, thats almost impossible to pin down as most contracts were awarded without tender, the terms & conditions buried somewhere deep within the bowels of the Russian White House (if paperwork or e-files even exist). And a pretty serious accusation it be, that $30B has been skimmed, were months away from the games, on the ground reports filtering out that there are some serious serious problems with construction & corruption, and on a massive scale. Well beyond anything any Olympic Games has ever experienced. Russias winning of the 2018 FIFA WC. Again, massive stadium development schemes, charges of bribery etc etc etc. The manner in which the former USSR dealt with the IIHF, the CAHA, Hockey Canada, the IOC... theres a rich history here of subterfuge & corruption, little changing with the breakup of the Soviet Bloc in terms of how they conduct business.

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06-02-2013, 03:58 PM
  #39
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Russia stealing money by the brinksload? to use a famous line, i'm shocked, shocked there is gambling going on in this casino. OF COURSE Russia is incredibly corrupt, they've been that way for decades. while the US has its fair sure of corruption and underhanded stuff, Russia puts our bad boys to shame. not that having huge American companies parking billions in offshores account to stiff uncle Sam or having a gap of 400 billion in owed taxes and actually paid taxes is something to be proud of, but we're not this blatantly corrupt. lets just say a lot of money changed hands for Russia and Qatar to win their bids. frankly the US should have gotten the 2022 games, we've actually qualified for the cup before and have hosted before. having it be in Qatar in the summer is like playing it in Death Valley.

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06-02-2013, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by scotchex View Post
That's a terrible argument. Corruption does vary a great deal from country to country. Some countries do have much less corruption than others. No country has zero corruption, of course, and nobody suggest they do.

In the same way, some countries have higher rates of murder and **** than other countries.

It's silly to say, "big deal" or "who are we to judge". Corruption is bad. Russia is much more corrupt than the rest of Europe. This is a fact.

Transparency International does a good job of measuring and tracking corruption if you'd like to learn about the issue.

But it makes no sense at all to just say, oh, we have corruption, too, so we can't judge. MOD
I was about to bring up Transparency International's CPI (Corruption Perception Index) - published annually since 1995. I'm glad someone beat me to it.


http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/


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06-02-2013, 04:56 PM
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... and more; http://www.northjersey.com/sports/Ru..._Olympics.html

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06-03-2013, 04:14 PM
  #42
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Attributing Taxes Expenses and Costs

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Seems that a number of distinct "part of doing business" factors are blended into the calculation - political contributions, taxation, sponsorship, naming rights being the most obvious.

Factored out, the deficit shrinks by more than half.

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06-03-2013, 04:51 PM
  #43
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Seems that a number of distinct "part of doing business" factors are blended into the calculation - political contributions, taxation, sponsorship, naming rights being the most obvious.... Factored out, the deficit shrinks by more than half.
Perhaps. I see their looking at setting up special taxation districts & so on. As for naming rights & sponsorships, thats one Hell of a hill to climb if the figures as to whats gone missing are even remotely close. Let alone the cost over-runs etc from an originally budgeted $12.8M that wouldve factored in sponsorships, the sale of broadcasting rights etc. Theres been no denial from the Kremlin. Just obfucations. Putin is seriously flexing his muscles, demanding the wealthy oligarchs fund all manner of infrastructure that should be state funded on top of whatever other facilities he's twisted their arms to build & pay for, with none too subtle hints that it might not be good for your business here in Russia if you dont.

There are 2 separate sets of oligarchs, those who made their billions before Putins rise to power, and their the ones being intimidated & threatened, the others after he'd risen to power receiving loans from the state, one a childhood friend of his who has received hundreds of millions. Alternately, one of the pre-Putin uber-wealthy who got roped in on a development & fell behind schedule has since fled the country after first Putin made comments that saw the stock value of his company fall by billions, then, Putin has Prosecutors hitting him with charges of corruption. The state owned & run overseer of all the projects making all kinds of demands, add-ons' never budgeted for by the pre-Putin moneyed, just a complete Schlomozzle.... needless to say, I'm sure the games will be staged and excellent, but talk about corruption on a grand scale, really quite incredible.

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06-03-2013, 05:14 PM
  #44
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Foundations

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Perhaps. I see their looking at setting up special taxation districts & so on. As for naming rights & sponsorships, thats one Hell of a hill to climb if the figures as to whats gone missing are even remotely close. Let alone the cost over-runs etc from an originally budgeted $12.8M that wouldve factored in sponsorships, the sale of broadcasting rights etc. Theres been no denial from the Kremlin. Just obfucations. Putin is seriously flexing his muscles, demanding the wealthy oligarchs fund all manner of infrastructure that should be state funded on top of whatever other facilities he's twisted their arms to build & pay for, with none too subtle hints that it might not be good for your business here in Russia if you dont.

There are 2 separate sets of oligarchs, those who made their billions before Putins rise to power, and their the ones being intimidated & threatened, the others after he'd risen to power receiving loans from the state, one a childhood friend of his who has received hundreds of millions. Alternately, one of the pre-Putin uber-wealthy who got roped in on a development & fell behind schedule has since fled the country after first Putin made comments that saw the stock value of his company fall by billions, then, Putin has Prosecutors hitting him with charges of corruption. The state owned & run overseer of all the projects making all kinds of demands, add-ons' never budgeted for by the pre-Putin moneyed, just a complete Schlomozzle.... needless to say, I'm sure the games will be staged and excellent, but talk about corruption on a grand scale, really quite incredible.
Canadian and American industrialists of the 19th century, early 20th century were basically the same species as Russian oligarchs

Look at the early Canadian and American tax laws re foundations, followed by the results when the piper called - 90% rule introduction, etc. Multiple public facilities, educational facilities were built with the resulting foundation money that was freed. Land was granted by institutions or various levels of government, tax incentives, political quid pro quo. The old Governor General in full regalia, coming down to Montreal for the official opening, etc.

Recent example would be the John Molson School of Business - Concordia University and the resulting construction. All four listed elements came into play


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 06-03-2013 at 05:16 PM. Reason: typo
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07-13-2013, 03:02 PM
  #45
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Sochi Olympics: Most Expensive Olympic Games in History

http://www.economist.com/news/europe...ct-few-castles
excerpt...
Quote:
Sochi has already set one record. At an estimated cost of $50 billion, these will be the most expensive games in history. When Russia placed its bid in 2007 it proposed to spend $12 billion, already more than any other country. Within a year the budget had been replaced by a seven-year plan to develop Sochi as a mountain resort. Most of the money is coming from the public purse or from state-owned banks.

Allison Stewart, of the SAID Business School at Oxford, says that Olympics tend to have cost overruns of about 180% on average. For Sochi the overrun is now 500%. But Russia made clear that money was not an issue, says Ms Stewart. She also notes that relations between the government and construction companies appear closer in Sochi than in other games. Large construction projects often have a side-effect of corruption. But in Russia corruption is not a side-effect: it is a product almost as important as the sporting event itself.

The quality of the work is patchy. The ski jump has been redone many times, and the cost has risen sevenfold. Newly laid sewage pipes have burst, so a nasty smell drifts over a kindergarten playground. Sea-coast fortifications cracked soon after installation. The work has been carried out with little concern for the environment. The river flowing into the Black Sea has been polluted by construction waste and protected forests have been cut down. A green whistle-blower was prosecuted and chased out of Russia.

The attitude towards workers is little better. Low-skilled migrants get $500 a month, working 12-hour shifts with no contracts, safety training or insurance. Even so, wages are not always paid in full, are often delayed and sometimes not paid at all, according to Human Rights Watch. Some employers withhold workers’ passports, so they cannot leave the site. Last year at least 25 people died in accidents and many more were injured. “Perhaps I would be more enthusiastic about the Olympic games if they treated me better,” comments one worker.

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07-13-2013, 03:34 PM
  #46
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Reports of corruption and poor worker treatment don't surprise me. This is after all, Russia, a country not exactly known for its sterling human rights record around the world and a leader who has no interest in things changing.

I am surprised by the costs though. $50 billion!! That's $10 billion more than the previous record holder for the Summer Olympics in China - an Olympics which typically has nearly 3 times as many events and requires nearly 3 times as many venues.

Back in 2008, I remember some commentators stating that we would never see as much money spent on an Olympics in our lifetime as those in China. Turns out it only took 6 years!

If Toronto bids and wins the 2024 or 2028 bid, I wouldn't be surprised if they could pull it off spending half the money Russia will in 2014.

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07-13-2013, 04:29 PM
  #47
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I can't believe they managed to spend more than Beijing. How is that even possible? The corruption thing is sort of par for the course with Russia and the Olympics in general, but the cost is staggering. That's $40 billion more than Vancouver, $46 billion more than Torino, $36 billion more than London! Their initial projections alone were more than twice what Chicago estimated they'd need to host the 2016 Games.

This is bad for the IOC. The number of bids for the Winter games have been falling in the past few cycles. The two favorites for 2022, Oslo and Munich, are holding referendums to approve financing and as the numbers for Sochi come out, the opinion polls get worse.


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07-13-2013, 04:31 PM
  #48
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When final decision on whether NHL-ers will play or not will take place ?

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07-13-2013, 04:46 PM
  #49
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here's a pic of the Olympic park this month, 6 months to go


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07-13-2013, 06:37 PM
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That's crazy. Can't wait to hear how much they're going to spend on the 2018 World Cup.

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