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Sochi Costs

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'In Putin’s increasingly totalitarian Russia, the repression is even greater, as is the plunder of the public coffers. The low estimates put the cost of the Sochi Games at $51 billion, more than four times the estimated cost and, remarkably, more than the cost of all previous Winter Olympics combined, as reported by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Political sportswriter Dave Zirin told me: “One road from the Olympic Village to the top of the ski mountain is going to cost $8.7 billion. Not only is that more than the entire price tag for the Vancouver Games, but they could have paved the entire road in Beluga caviar, and it would have cost less.” Zirin reported that at least 25 workers were killed during the frantic race to finish the construction in Sochi. While workers suffer, Zirin says the beneficiaries of the largess are “a combination of the Russian state and the Russian plutocracy".'