The Russian Olympics

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, get started today.  So far, much of the buzz about the Olympics has been about terrorism fears and complaints about the lack of creature comforts for visitors (undrinkable water, unfinished construction, public toilets without privacy, insects in food, pillows appropriated from hotels for the athletes).

With its legacy of communism, Russian society is not particularly oriented to satisfying consumers, certainly not by the standards of today’s consumer capitalism.  But Russian society tends to be very good, even to a fault, at “security.” [Read more...]

The case against the Olympics

The Winter Olympics begin February 7 in Sochi, Russia, and people are getting nervous over terrorism threats, anti-gay laws, the toilet situation, and whatever Vladimir Putin might do.

Columnist Charles Lane argues that the Olympics have gotten too politicized, too expensive, too drug-saturated, too corrupt, and too corporate.  We should just end them.  Read his case against the Olympics here.

Does he have a point?  Or is there still value in having virtually all of the countries of the world come together in a huge athletic event?  Might the Olympics be reformed rather than killed?


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