World News: Sochi Troubles

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World News: Sochi Troubles

The Winter Olympics have just begun in Sochi, Russia. Although the Russians were well underway with preparations for the Games, Russian President Vladimir Putin was distraught when he arrived in Sochi to find that they were not up to speed and there might be delays. There are many concerns for the Winter Olympics including security issues, infrastructure problems, conditions for the actual event and probably worst of all, poisoning of the stray dogs.

One of the biggest problems that are affecting Sochi and the winter Olympics is the tension about the Islamic separatists that have conducted attacks on Sochi’s neighboring regions. On top of this, the Black Widows, young women whose husbands have been killed by Russian forces, are planning to bomb the Olympic Torch Relay. People are worried that due to this concern of a terrorist attack, Sochi might not be the best place to host the winter Olympics. However, President Vladimir Putin is not worried because he has hundreds of thousands of officers who have been stationed all over the city; Putin calls them the “Ring of Steel”. There are many more attacks in the same area of Russia where terrorists have been attacking in order to get the attention of the Russian government. Even the United States has been warning airlines with direct flights to Russia that there might be the possibility of explosives in toothpaste tubes or cosmetic tubes. Matthew Wilson, director of the US National Counterterrorism Center, said that they are working close with Russia and other countries to disrupt terrorist activities.

Aside from all the security concerns, there have been many reports of hotels not being furnished for the athletes. Many fans, friends and family of the athletes find this unacceptable and disturbing because the athletes have been training for years and for many of them it is there first and maybe only Olympics. Many of the hotels are in horrible conditions, missing amenities such as TVs, chairs, shower curtains or clean water. One reporter states that toilet paper cannot even be flushed down the toilet.

Even though there might be many things wrong in Sochi, one thing that isn’t flawed is the competitive condition for the event. Sochi might not have been the ideal location to hold the Winter Olympics because of the climate. Sochi is a luscious beach resort where the temperature in the winter can reach up to 52 degrees Fahrenheit. “Palm trees line the street, and it it’s the only part of Russia warm enough to grow tea leaves. In other words, it’s a lovely spot if you’re planning a beach holiday.” Tons of snow has been airlifted to Sochi where they have been conditioned and used to create artificial mounds on tracks. Many people were distraught when they found out that the Winter Olympics would be held in Sochi. People worried that since there was such a shortage of snow in the Vancouver Olympics, that Sochi might fall prey to the same conditions. Russian officials have gone to lengths of incorporating a state-of-the-art snow making machine, but officials highly doubt they will need it.

One of the biggest concerns that has hit the news relative to the Sochi Olympics is that the Russian government is rounding up all stray dogs and poisoning them on the street, to clear up the streets of Sochi and make it friendlier for the athletes. However, news spread of the situation, causing massive opposition.

There are many problems that Russia is dealing with regards to the Sochi Winter Olympics. From terrorist attacks to abysmal athlete accommodations, will Russia be able to pull off a flawless Winter Olympics in Sochi or will something go wrong? Only time will tell.

Ayaz Uddin

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