Feb 5, 2014; Krasnaya Polyana, RUSSIA; A stray dog outside the Gorki Media Center at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Mandatory Credit: Guy Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Sochi Olympics: A brief guide to the controversies

If you’re going to watch the Winter Olympics this year, chances are you’ll want some talking points you can use to impress your friends/loved ones/people you’ve kidnapped and made watch the ceremony with you under threat of violence because you’re so so so lonely and every friendship, even those based of fear and intimidation, counts

So, to aid in your efforts*, here’s a (very) brief rundown of the various controversies swirling about the Games.

*(Uh, let’s be clear we’re aiding your conversational efforts, not your abduction plans.)

Presented in no particular order (and by no means meant to be comprehensive):


Remember when the news came out that Sochi city official had hired exterminators to kill stray dogs? Since the story broke, a Russian billionaire named Oleg V. Deripaska has stepped in and provided funding for an animal shelter in hopes of saving some of the dogs from being killed in the streets.

If you’re in Sochi right now, your shower may be spying on you. Oh, and your water may be the same color as the fake blood used in some schlocky B-movie. Really, your overall hotel experience will probably be lackluster. Sorry. I mean, it’s not like a lot of money was invested into these Olympics. Oh wait…


Accusations of embezzlement, cronyism, and mismanaged funds have come from many sources, but by far the most detailed analysis can be found in this interactive map designed by Alexei Navalny.


Hey, who needs trees, right? Especially when you can use a neighboring city as a dump.

Treatment of the LGBT community

But remember, personal politics should totally be kept out of Sochi discussions. The Games are about the athletes, right? And, really, who are we to judge how another country decides to treat its people? Every country has a right to commit abuses of human rights in their own manner of choice.

Enjoy the Olympics, everyone. If you can stomach them, that is.

Tags: 2014 Winter Olympics Controversy Dogs IOC Russia Sochi Olympics

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