Environmental Challenges of Winter Olympic Infrastructure

Hesse, Tom
The 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia. To prepare for such an event, the Sochi infrastructure had to be completely re-built, including a 30-mile highway and rail project that runs through one of the most sensitive national parks in Russia. This project examined the road and rail project along with Russian environmental practices, criticisms of the project and international oversight to determine what environmental protection measures existed in Russia. This project also examined flaws in those environmental protections as well as how the pressure of hosting the Olympic Games has impacted the project. By comparing the Sochi project to similar projects in the United States, this research determined that there were numerous shortcomings in Russian environmental practices including lack of public involvement and lack of federal oversight. These shortcomings have led to a project that has forever damaged the sensitive region of Sochi National Park and have further demonstrated the need for careful environmental review processes.
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