Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sochi Success Russia Manages to Defy the Olympics Naysayers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sochi Success Russia Manages to Defy the Olympics Naysayers

Article excerpt

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, closed Sunday as they started, with another spectacular ceremony to serve as a bookend to the exciting chapters in between. But the story line that developed over the two weeks of action was not as originally written.

In the run-up to the games, pessimism and negativity were the prevailing sentiments. Security would not be up to the task of stopping terrorists. The weather in a seaside town with palm trees would prove uncooperative. Russia's anti-gay laws would provide their own chill. The city would not be ready to host thousands of foreign visitors.

That's how it seemed at first, as horror stories described hotels with dysfunctional plumbing and authorities killing stray dogs. But the biggest threat of all - terrorism - never happened.

While some unpleasant incidents occurred, for example Cossacks taking whips to the feminists in the group Pussy Riot, the games themselves were the main story. Even the bad publicity about bad hotels gave way to the glitter of gold, silver and bronze. …

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