Viewed by over three billion people worldwide, Sochi started with an amazing glittering display of white lights and icebergs for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. However, since the start of it, there have been many controversies revolving around it which then questions the success of the Olympic Games. The discrepancies involved and have ensued include terrorist threats, a call for a boycott of the games, scandals, and many more. The first of such controversies was in the opening ceremony speech where remarks regarding anti-discrimination were "edited" and removed from the telecast due to "time constraints". Kicking off with this first detriment, there would be more to come.
Now everyone knows the extent that budget must be in order to host such a prestigious event. Since the Beijing Summer Olympic games in 2008, the Sochi Winter games had topped it with a whopping $50 billion dollars. Whilst so, much of the stalls and stands in the audience remain empty. Given this, experts claim that since public money is involved, more spending would mean a greater likelihood of future indebtedness. To reimburse such costs that have been implemented into running the games, the cost that has been estimated per traveler for a round trip from the U.S. would sum up to five to seven thousands of dollars. In addition to that, hotels at Sochi are all marked up at thousands of dollars per night. This amount of cash would suit any luxurious hotel, but not in Sochi, Russia where it isn't known to be high-end hospitality and with much development to do. As this money craze continues for viewers, the same goes for competitors who wish to compete within the games as well. Training and competing for this one event have cost many competitors easily up to the six-figures almost a life-time's worth of money for one to compete and to have his or her family to watch.
With all the talk about money and cash moving in and out of the city, though people wish to see the spectacle of sports, in the end it comes down to business. Whereas company giants such as Samsung and Coca-Cola all lent their names to the Olympic cause, souvenir sellers looking to generate sales and revenue with this opportunity, or any other business of the sort, everyone is expected to lose money. The approach to this year's Olympic games are similar to that of the London Summer Olympic games of 2012, everyone is streaming to see the live event versus actually going to the event itself. Whereas this approach destroys much sales opportunity in that of Sochi itself, networks such as Captivate Network, a digital media company, estimated that it had lost and wasted time equating to over $650 million dollars alone.
Of course, the games have only been five days in, and there is no telling to what else may arise in the near future, but as of now, it seems the sun is setting early upon this year's Olympic Games.
- Edwin Sze