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  1. #1
    Lord of Swine
    Necron99's Avatar
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    Winter Olympics $40 Billion Blowout..

    IF YOU build it, they will come.

    In the case of Russia's new skifields, manufactured out of almost nothing to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, they'd better hope so.

    Whether or not Sochi will be able to lay claim to the customary "best ever" tag so liberally applied to each and every edition of the Olympics remains to be seen, but when it comes to pre-Games cost blowouts, controversies and general concern, the Russians have already raised the bar.

    Initially projected to cost between $10 billion and $15 billion, the Games budget has been nothing short of farcical and will now wind up well in excess of $50 billion as the Russian government attempts to conjure four world-class ski areas out of almost thin air.


    Please, please,,stop throwing money at me..



    KICK BACK AND RELAX

    It's no surprise - nay, it's expected - that a few dollars were going to go missing throughout Sochi's snow-fuelled growth.

    Russia is, after all, universally acknowledged as one of the most corrupt countries on the planet.

    But the sheer magnitude of the rorting that has followed is almost unfathomable.

    Russian government opposition estimates put the amount of money that has simply disappeared at up to $30 billion, with most of that allegedly going on "kickbacks and embezzlement" for Russian president Vladimir Putin's mates.

    "An absence of fair competition, clan politics and the strictest censorship about anything related to the Olympic Games have led to a sharp increase in costs and a low quality of work," an opposition report said earlier this year.



    A SLIPPERY SLOPE OF SPENDING

    You might have noticed, but skiing is an offensively expensive pursuit.

    And that's if you're just kitting the kids out and taking them up the mountain for a few days so they can show you up five minutes into their first lesson.

    New mega-resorts are rarely being built these days, such is the setup cost and the bank-bustingly slow rate at which it'll be recouped, particularly early in the resort's life.

    But someone forgot to tell Russia, which has built FOUR huge resorts virtually side by side in the Krasnaya Polyana region specifically for the Games, where before there were just three creaky old double chairlifts.



    THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE ROAD

    Take your state's most egregious budget-busting road upgrade, multiply it by whatever you like and you might have something approaching what the Russians have done in building a road link between the city of Sochi and the snowsports precinct in Krasnaya Polyana.

    The 29km stretch of road, initially expected to cost an already mind-melting $4.9 billion, will now come in around the $9 billion mark.

    A Russian magazine with too much time on its hands calculated that for the same cash, the entire road could be coated with a four-inch layer of truffles.

    SNOW OR SEA?

    Palm trees, summer temperatures averaging in the mid to high 20s and winter averages around 11C.

    It sounds like Melbourne, but we're talking Sochi, which is officially considered a humid subtropical climate.

    It's also only an hour or so by road to the skifields at which the world's winter sports elite will strut their stuff, which makes the Russian city an all the more bizarre choice to host a Winter Olympic Games.

    The potential for sunbaking weather has seen organisers stockpiling snow since February this year and they'll use 400 snow machines to make sure there's enough white stuff when the cameras start rolling.


    How the Russian government overspent on the Winter Olympics by $40 billion | News.com.au

  2. #2
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    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    He makes Squareface look like an amateur that boy.

  3. #3
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    Russians - scum...

    Arabs - scum...

    Thais - scum...

    Oh, nearly forgot:

    French - scum...

  4. #4
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    The 'best ever' tag belongs to Lillehammer 1994, and it can't be applied to a different place again. That said, Sochi and the Caucasus behind are very beautiful. Much like the Antalya region in Turkey, but not so hot in the summer. It's a better holiday destination than Pattaya or Phuket, more expensive of course.
    Boon Mee: 'Israel is the 51st State. De facto - but none the less, essentially part & parcel of the USA.'

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainfall
    It's a better holiday destination than Pattaya or Phuket, more expensive of course.
    Why don't the Russian bastards go there then instead polluting our homeland (chosen temporary homeland...)?

  6. #6
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    Cujo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Russians - scum...

    Arabs - scum...

    Thais - scum...

    Oh, nearly forgot:

    French - scum...
    And no one bats an eye, but say Jews are scum and you're a racist anti semitic arsehole.

    WTF?

  7. #7
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    ^ you racist fuker!

    I think there are reasons for it, plus my points are rather tongue in cheek, but I see your point; it's a valid one in many, but not all, cases.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rainfall
    It's a better holiday destination than Pattaya or Phuket, more expensive of course.
    Why don't the Russian bastards go there then instead polluting our homeland (chosen temporary homeland...)?
    It's too cold for a swim in the sea for half a year. The Russians in Thailand are mostly Siberians, for them it's a shorter flight to Thailand than to the Black Sea. You in many cases don't realize they're Russians when they look Korean.

  9. #9
    Lord of Swine
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    Australian worker appalled at Sochi Olympics Games conditions

    "They are easily the best I've seen anywhere in the world," the five-time chef de mission declared of the $50 billion worth of new infrastructure.
    "The money's been spent and you can see where it's been spent," Mr Chesterman added.
    But an Australian course worker at the Sochi Winter Olympics has painted a bleak picture of the area just two weeks out from the Games, describing dodgy construction, poor accommodation and questionable employment conditions - all the while preparing not to be paid.
    Sydney-raised Johnnie Balfour, who is accredited as a shaping expert by the Russian Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, was contracted to build a course at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. He arrived in Sochi earlier this week but hasn't had too many nice things to say about the Games city.
    "Nothing is finished here and there is piles of garbage everywhere," Balfour wrote on his tumblr blog, confirming its contents with via email.
    "Muddy water is pouring off the mountain and flowing through the streets and the cobblestone pavers are all lifting up or disappearing into sink holes.
    "This entire place was built in the last few years, it looks nice at first glance but look a little closer and you can see that it was just thrown together.
    "Most of the buildings are not finished and with only two weeks to go before the Games start, they never will be finished. It is pouring rain and close to 10 degrees above zero. The little snow they have is rapidly disappearing."
    He wasn't exactly impressed with his accommodation either.
    "The toilet flushes muddy water, there is no hot water, the shower floor is covered in dirt and mud, there was piss all over the toilet, the water is undrinkable (it's brown), it's even sketchy to brush your teeth with it and the idea of having internet in this place is a joke," he wrote.
    Balfour, a former soldier in the Australian Army, is a renowned shaper of snowboard cross and ski cross courses, and built the site at Cypress Mountain for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. He now thinks it's unlikely he will even get paid after saying the terms of his service were changed so payment would be received 10 days after he returned to his base in Canada.
    Balfour blogged one line on Thursday: "I've just been told to shut up."
    Ian Chesterman remained upbeat yesterday about the venues in Sochi, especially in the mountainous area where Mr Balfour has been working, saying forecasts of warm weather and muddy courses were of no concern.
    "I have been involved in winter sports for a long time and I've learned never to listen to the weather forecast," he said.
    "They will be prepared for it. They had good early snow... I reckon Sochi will get through with no problems."

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