The Winter Olympic Games set to unfold in the Russian beach resort town of Sochi was plagued by controversy right from the start.
When organizers struck down a request by NGO Pride House to set up shop in Sochi, Russia’s policies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights came under close scrutiny. Then there are widespread allegations over corruption in the provisions of services and facilities. Critics accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of cronyism in awarding contracts and mismanagement of funds.
The facilities needed for games, from venues to cargo terminals, were heavily criticized for environmental and geological hazards they might pose. The skewing of real estate prices in and around the venue was also put in question. Meanwhile, political activists have not made it easier for the organizers to market the games. Safety and security are very real concerns in an area that has traditionally been a hotbed of political dissent and conflict.
Despite all these, sports enthusiasts the world over remain steadfast in their faith. The Olympic spirit represents all that is true, good, and beautiful in the human spirit and when the history of the Sochi games are remembered, the controversies will be documented, the interesting facts archived, but amazing tales such as these will be be remembered and talked about for a long time.
The infographic features a selection from the many tales of triumph, tragedy, pride and glory in the history of the Winter Olympics. There will always be enduring achievements that will be forever remembered, such as Bjorn Daehlie’s 12 Olympic medals, or the Eddie Eagan and his singular achievement of being the only athlete to win gold at both the Summer and Winter games. And there’s the fact that Russia, famous for its cold and cruel winters, chose to host the Winter Olympics in the subtropical resort town of Sochi, where palm trees sway amidst the new venues constructed at the beachfront Olympic park.