The Sochi Olympics have been plagued by accusations of corruption, waste, and overspending.
It’s the most expensive Olympics of all-time at $US51 billion, a figure that’s $US39 billion over the original budget.
One of the main complaints from Putin detractors is that government contracts were given to companies that didn’t know what they were doing, resulting in shoddy construction that has cost millions to repair.
In a BusinessWeek article in January, Russian scientific secretary Yulia Naberezhnaya pointed to Sochi’s Imerati Valley — the site of the Olympic Park — as a major example of waste. The builders ignored a number of underground streams in the area, and parts of the site had to be rebuilt several times due to persistent flooding.
It appears that the problem in the Imerati Valley is still not solved. Alexander Valov of BlogSochi.ru walked around the neighborhoods surrounding the Olympic Park on Jan. 23 and took a bunch of pictures of what it looked like 15 days before the opening ceremony.
While the center of the Olympic Park and main venues are all in immaculate condition, the area surrounding them is still essentially a construction site. There’s trash, mounds of dirt, and half-built buildings strewn about. In addition, the sidewalks built within the last year are already crumbling, according to Valov.
Valov let us republish these photos with his permission. They paint a very different picture than the one you’ll see on TV.
A debris dump on Acacia Street, a mile from the Olympic Park:
Fences have been constructed to obscure the dump:
A bus stop:
A half-constructed hotel that was never finished:
An example of a poorly constructed sidewalk. Lavlov says it was placed directly onto of the dirt, and is thus crumbling already:
The sidewalk of the highway that leads to the Olympic Park:
The grass in one of the parks has yet to grow in:
A housing unit that will host volunteers from across Russia still isn’t finished:
A road near the Cossack Market:
The pedestrian walk on the highway is in bad shape:
A construction site that was never cleaned up:
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