Sochi Olympics: Problems with hosting the Olympics

General Information

Sochi is a resort city located in the Russian Federal Subject of Krasnodar Krai. It is north of Russia’s border with Georgia along the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains. Greater Sochi stretches 90 miles (145 km) along the sea and is considered one of the longest cities in Europe. The City of Sochi covers a total area of 1,352 square miles (3,502 sq km). Due to its popularity among tourists, historic characteristics, sports venues and proximity to the Caucasus Mountains, the International Olympic Committee selected Sochi as the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics on July 4, 2007. (About.com, 2010)

Sustainability

Sustainability is an ecological, social, and economic concept. It is intended to be a means of configuring civilization and human activity so that society and its members are able to meet their needs and express their greatest potential in the present, while preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems, and planning and acting for the ability to maintain these ideals indefinitely. Sustainability affects every level of organization, from the local neighborhood to the entire globe. It is a sometimes controversial topic. (WordIQ.com, 2010)

Environment

This is one of the main areas that the stakeholders and the Organizing Committee would like to abide by:

 Harmony with Nature: Introducing a comprehensive approach to natural resource management and environmental protection; adhering to the Zero Waste principle; staging the Games with a minimal carbon impact as well as biodiversity conservation; and promotion of environmentally responsible behavior.

However, the pledge that the Sochi Olympics would be Zero Waste was broken. There could be various reasons that the pledge was broken, one could be that their budget did not have revisions for dealing with construction waste and management of it. Then there are other issues that include labor relations and so forth.

 As a centerpiece of its Olympic bid, Russia trumpeted a “Zero Waste” program that promised the cleanest games ever, saying it would refrain from dumping construction waste and rely on reusable materials. But on a visit last week to Akhshtyr, just north of Sochi, The Associated Press found that Russia’s state-owned rail monopoly is dumping tons of construction waste into what authorities call an illegal landfill, raising concerns of possible contamination in the water that directly supplies. (The Weather Channel , 2013)

http://www.weather.com/news/science/environment/russia-breaks-zero-waste-pledge-olympics-20131030

Social

The Sochi Olympic Games will showcase this place to the world to see. Though the area is nice place to look up on the internet, but with typing in the name Sochi would bring up social issues too. So I used this one of the main areas that the Sochi Olympics Organizing Committee would like to use as a goal.

Barrier-free World: Ensuring universal access to the Games and the involvement of youth, local and national communities and people with a disability in the preparations for the Games; forming a unique positive experience and atmosphere for the Games’ guests and participants; creating equal opportunities for the participation of diverse social groups in the Games; and ensuring the recruitment, engagement and development of employees and volunteers from diverse social backgrounds.

The implications that come with these Olympic Games, that the Russian government passed an ant-gay legislation earlier this year. So, because of this, many countries are willing to boycott the Games or have the Russian government reverse the bill altogether. So I feel that main areas that the organization wants to achieve are being hinder by the government.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/10/world/europe/russia-gay-rights-controversy/index.html

Economic

In reading about the economics of Russia, the government set aside some money for the construction projects that come with the Olympic Games. The Russian government budget does not allow much room for the hosting of the Games.

There are also signs that the initial cost estimates have been way off. Last July, the government said the total construction bill would run about $6.6 billion, but just a couple of months later, it revised that figure to a whopping $34 billion, according to the Russian news service RIA Novosti. Amid concerns that construction is running behind schedule — a problem exacerbated by the workers’ strike, now in its second week — political pressure is mounting for the organizers to build faster and cut costs. (Time , 2010)

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1973543,00.html

So with the economic instability, many of the construction projects are way behind schedule. Because of these issues, there could be many ways that they are looking for ways to cut the cost. They ways to cut costs could or have cross into social and environmental issues. According to the Time article on “Trouble in Sochi: Russia’s Mounting Olympic Problems”, many of the construction workers were not being paid.

Conclusion

In my own opinion, I think that the organizing committee objectives were not realistic. There was no oversight on the Zero Waste program or if there was it was not doing any enforcement. The social aspect of the nation is greatly hindering the image of the hosting city. So because of the country’s stance on the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Transsexual) community, many countries are willing to boycott the Games. Then the instability of the nation is greatly affecting the financing of the Olympic Games. So I’m wondering if the Games would still go on as schedule.

 

 

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