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2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia: Most Expensive Olympic Games Ever--Estimated Cost, $50 Billion, So Far [Video]

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Feb 04, 2013 12:21 PM EST

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It might be a year away, but the construction is well underway in Sochi, Russia, in preparation for the 22nd Winter Olympic Games, which is due to start on Feb. 7, 2014.

Russian Television has reported, according to an Olympic preparation commission, "that so far the cost is over $50 billion, five times more than original estimates."

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games is turning out to be the most-expensive games ever. It has surpassed the $40 billion that the city of Beijing put for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games-than the most expensive Olympic Games.

In comparison, the Beijing Olympics doubled the amount of money that London put, which was $19 billion.

 "Some explain the expensive price tag over the fact that the city of Sochi did not have most of the needed infrastructure. Jean-Claude Killy, chair of the International Olympic Committee's coordination commission for the Sochi Games, said that 85 percent of the infrastructure had to be built from scratch," according to Russian Television.

Igor Nikolaev, director of the Strategic Analysis Department at FBK, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta Newspaper that the lack of infrastructure was one of the reasons for the huge expense: "There was really a lot that needed to be built in order to prepare for the Olympics, including infrastructure." He added that the huge estimates cannot be taken literally, since they were artificially inflated by the Olympics' private sponsors. "

"So far, sponsors have spent $24.6 billion, and costs are expected to increase to $33 billion," stated Russian Television.

"In total, 378 federal facilities and 46 regional are being built for the Sochi Olympics. Of these, only 13 are sport-related; the others are related to infrastructure and accommodation," reported Russian Television.

Of the main Olympic facilities, only six have been completed - the preparatory commission has reported a shortage of over 22,000 workers at construction sites," according to Russian Television.

The project, which is 70 percent complete and has run up a bill of $36.7, according to Russian Television, is planned to be done on time, with plenty of time for last-minute clean-up or restorations.

The International Olympic Committee inspection found "no real burning issues" in Sochi preparations for the 2014 Winter Games, reported ESPN.com.

If the number $50 billion is mind numbing, this will be another shocker, that $50 billion is just an estimate, not a final cost. The cost could reach as high as $65-$70 billion once the entire construction project is over with.

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