The 2014 Winter Olympics haven’t even gotten underway yet, and already it is looking like they might be amongst the most controversial and scandal-ridden games of all-time.
First it was the vague Russian law outlawing “gay propaganda,” which is fairly upsetting for the countries of the world that value free speech. Then came word that the games cost the country an absolutely insane $51 billion, which is even more expensive than the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing and five times more expensive than the Olympics in Vancouver. Now there is the not-so-shocking revelation about why the cost was so high: government corruption! It turns out all the construction contracts were just handed out to the preferred companies, most of whom happen to be owned by politicians or buddies of politicians. And obviously, once the contracts were secured, these companies just kept increasing the prices. (Read all about it here.)
Fortunately, the actual sporting events will begin soon, and barring any major security problems or law-enforcement crackdowns, that should take our attention away from the scandals. That being said, it’s not like the Sochi Games are the first to be plagued by scandals and corruption. In fact, scandal and corruption are as much a part of the Olympic tradition as triumphs of the human spirit and celebrations of our common humanity.
Don’t believe it? Just take a look at this list of scandals from the Winter Games. Not all of them are on the same level as the stuff that’s surrounded the 2014 Winter Games, but they are scandals nonetheless.