While the allegedly fraudulent funding nature and excessive overall cost of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has been strongly criticised by international commentators, as has President Putin’s apparent attempts to use them for self promotion, one fact that has to be swallowed by the games’ detractors is that the Sochi Winter Olympics have been an outstanding success.
Even the International Olympic Committee has said as much and is apparently so happy, it has cancelled its daily revue meetings.
Television viewers around the world have been enthralled by the performances of the competitors with winning nations being especially proud of their winners both male and female. While protests over gay rights in Russia threatened the games at one stage, at least in one way these Olympics have been a good force for social change. A mark of this progress was that women were, at long last, allowed to compete in the ski jump with their own competition.
Actually, of course, it is not really the competitors, social reformers or even the politicians that that have benefited most. In fact, in such a worldwide television event the real winners are the television and satellite companies that broadcast live high definition television pictures and get advertising, subscription and leasing revenues for doing so.
Comment by David Todd: We don’t mind the TV and satellite companies benefiting – just so long as human rights, the sports themselves, and the Olympic spirit itself does not suffer.