Olympic Dreams or Broken Promises

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  • Title: Olympic Dreams or Broken Promises: Evaluation of the XXII Olympic Winter Games’ Vision and Impact on Infrastructure, Environment, Athletic Venues, and Tourism
  • Author(s): Nataliya Bredikhina
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Sport & Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Sport and Society
  • Keywords: Olympics, Sochi, Russian Society
  • Volume: 10
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2152-7857 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2152-7865 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2152-7857/CGP/v10i03/1-16
  • Citation: Bredikhina, Nataliya. 2019. "Olympic Dreams or Broken Promises: Evaluation of the XXII Olympic Winter Games’ Vision and Impact on Infrastructure, Environment, Athletic Venues, and Tourism." The International Journal of Sport and Society 10 (3): 1-16. doi:10.18848/2152-7857/CGP/v10i03/1-16.
  • Extent: 16 pages

Abstract

As often mentioned in the academic literature and in the media, the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi became a record-breaking event in terms of investments made, amount of media attention drawn, and scope of impact produced on the host region. The current article aims to investigate the disparity between promises made regarding the potential impact of the Sochi Olympics and presented in the 2014 IOC Evaluation Commission Report versus the actual effects of the Games, evaluated based on the information drawn from official documentation of environmental and human rights organizations, news reports, and media sources. The analysis focuses on four major dimensions of the Games’ impact: infrastructure, environment, athletic venues, and tourism. The work shows that fulfillment of promises and benefits of the Sochi Games for the Russian population have been very questionable. The event has been associated with numerous acts of violation of environmental laws and local residents’ human rights, corruption, and tremendous economic losses. However, the Sochi Olympics’ gigantic costs and negative impact on the host region is not a unique trend. Similar tendencies have been associated with most mega-events staged in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.