By all accounts—except maybe Vladimir Putin's—the small Russian resort town of Sochi isn't ready for the Olympics. In fact, coverage of the preparations has taken on a downright panic-stricken tone. Can Sochi pull it out of the flames? The answer is yes—but at a steep cost.
Last week, we posted images of Sochi's half-finished Olympic Village and trash-filled streets. Since then, more information has emerged: Only six of nine media hotels are finished, and work is still underway at the Olympic Village and many of the venue sites. The International Olympic Committee is making daily visits to check up on progress, and reportedly using a helicopter to monitor the building work. Illegal landfills are popping up around the town with devastating environmental effects. The Games are more than $40 billion over budget, a record by many billions, and the IOC says much of that has been embezzled.