Turns out that Russia has more Winter Olympics problems than just gay rights demonstrations and Edward Snowden. With the Sochi Games looming in February, word is that cost overruns and corruption are aiming to make the Red Bear look really bad, if not bankrupt. Take this ski jump, for instance. State of the art, I’m sure. But …
With less than 100 days to go before the Feb. 7 opening, clearly neither cost nor manpower is an issue. At more than $50 billion, these Games are already expected to be among the most expensive in Olympic history; at the peak of construction, 96,000 people were working on the project.
Still, the most notorious example of Sochi excess — a ski jump that cost $265 million, more than six times over budget — is now complete, after its developer was fired and fled the country. Strung with lights, it glows on a darkened slope, high above a valley where crews work through the night on half-finished hotels and apartment blocks.
If they ever catch that developer, they may send him down his own ski jump as punishment. This has to be the most terrifying sport around.