Sochi Olympics is a big f*cking deal to Vladimir Putin

 

vladimir putin olympics

Vlad hope’s his future’s so bright…

 

ESPN has a great article detailing Vladimir Putin’s apparent obsession with the Sochi Winter Olympics. This really comes as no surprise, considering Putin, the wealthiest and most powerful man in the world, is often obsessed with public image and projecting Russian strength to the world – why wouldn’t he want his Olympics to go well?

And these really are his Olympics. The Russian President has allegedly been more hands-on than any other host country’s leader in the past, and has spent a fortune turning the ski-resort town into an Olympic mecca. Russia’s original big pledged pledged $12 billion (2010 Vancouver Olympics cost $7 billion), but now costs have rumored to exceed $50 billion dollars. That’s a lot of Olympic Village Smirnoff.

Obviously Putin and Russia’s oligarchs need this to go off without a hitch, but with so much civil unrest in the land formally known as the Soviet Union, that might be a problem. With civil rights a disaster (jailing homosexuals and anyone who speaks out against the government), and bombings in nearby cities like Volgograd and uprisings in Ukraine, Putin has sent in tens of thousands of security personnel to keep the peace. Nothing like fighting the image of being a despot and dictator by being more despot-y and dictator-y.

This will certainly be an Olympics to watch, and not just for the luge.

Read: Importance of Sochi Olympics to Vladimir Putin – ESPN The Magazine – ESPN.