Russia, synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic tradition, one of the greatest Empires of the 19 century, source of musical and drama acclaim, terror of the West during the Cold War, the first nation to send a man to space, and now the host of the 22nd winter Olympics. Sochi’s path to the lime light of political and athletic tension began in 2007 when the International Olympic Committee chose it as the Host City for this years Olympics.
In 1995 Sochi made the exact same bid but didn’t even make it past “application city” status. The IOC sends out a team to each applicant city, and some make it to Candidate status, if they pass the evaluation. Then the IOC votes. This time Russia wanted it bad, with President Putin flying in to make the final appeal in English.
Sochi is right next to Putins favorite ski resort. Construction began on Roza Khutor Alpine Resort in 2003, giving Sochi a defense against the accusation of absolute lack of facilities which was why they were refused in 1995. Instead at the Guatemala City IOC Session Russia was up as a candidate against Slazburg Austria and Pyeong Chang South Korea. Both of which had been candidates in 2003 for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Like in 2003 the first round of elections had PyeongChang in the lead and Salzburg drop out. Followed by a very close vote between Russia and Korea.
Russia victory is attributed to Putin charisma and promise to have state of the art, 12 billion dollar venue, at an easy distance from the see shore Olympic village with no traffic jams and real snow. All of this evidence of new Russia and assurance of a safe enjoyable and memorable event. Now the world is watching to see if the IOC made the right decision.