Tuesday, September 24, 2013


So why exactly is Russia holding the winter Olympics in Sochi? I mean, as opposed to somewhere else in its country. Russia his huge, almost all of it has winter weather, and Sochi is actually pretty far South--at least for Russia. It also happens to be next to the Caucasus, where Chechnya, Dagestan, Ossetia, and Ingushetia, all of which have had violent insurgencies and/or terrorism issues. So why not put the Olympics somewhere else? I guess you need mountains, and Sochi has the Caucasus Mountains. But Russia has other mountains. Surely there are resorts in the Urals, the Altai, or all those others I have never heard of before. If they don't have a resort yet, surely the Russians could have built one. Sochi was awarded the 2014 Olympics in 2007, and the city must have applied some point before that. Russia had plenty of time to build a world-class facility somewhere else that didn't pose such a security risk.

The only reason for choosing Sochi instead of another Russian city is to show off how well Russia as pacified the Caucasus rebellions.  But that has a real danger of backfiring. A lot can happen in the years between the announcement of an Olympic site and the games themselves. But I guess if you're overconfident of your own victory that means you're overconfident.