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SBD Global/November 20, 2013/Olympics

HBO's "Real Sports" Examines Cost, Corruption Around Sochi On 200th Episode

The 200th episode of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” premiered Tuesday night with a report on corruption and the $50B cost of the 2014 Sochi Games. Former Russia Deputy PM Boris Nemstov told reporter Bernard Goldberg of the $50B expense, “If you calculate the cost of previous Winter Olympics, altogether it’s cheaper then [Russia President Vladimir Putin’s] Olympic Games.” The report states that Putin is the culprit for the elaborate spending. Goldberg in his narration of the piece said, “Sochi is one of President Putin’s favorite vacation spots, a resort town that has long been a getaway for Russia’s elite -- going all the way back to Stalin and Khrushchev. The message [Putin] wants to send with these Winter Games is clear: that he heads up a strong, modern Russia capable of putting on the biggest show in all of sports.” A 30-mile road and rail line from Sochi to the mountains where the skiing events will take place is said to have cost $9B. Former chess champion and longtime Putin critic Garry Kasparov said he is not proud of the Olympics being held in his homeland. Kasparov: “Picking Sochi and organizing everything there against all the odds, against the nature, against the interest of people who live there, that’s about Putin. That’s about his regime. That’s about stealing money. It’s not about Russia.” The episode debuted Tuesday night on HBO and will be reaired frequently on HBO’s networks during the next two weeks.
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Olympics, Russia

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