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Olympics: Criticism of Games reflects Cold War mentality, says Putin

Published on Feb 11, 2014 6:54 AM
 
People watch as workers conducting maintenance rappel down on ropes from the top of the the Olympic Cauldron during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on Feb 10, 2014. Western criticism of Russia's Winter Olympics was reminiscent of Cold War ambitions to hold the Soviet Union back, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday, despite signs that the world was warming to the most expensive Games ever held. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SOCHI (REUTERS) - Western criticism of Russia's Winter Olympics was reminiscent of Cold War ambitions to hold the Soviet Union back, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday, Feb 10, 2014, despite signs that the world was warming to the most expensive Games ever held.

The buildup to the Olympics in Sochi on the Black Sea coast has been overshadowed by threats of Islamist militant violence, an international outcry over a contentious "anti-gay propaganda" law and allegations of widespread corruption and profligacy.

As the third full day of competition drew to a close, that hostility had begun to melt away and the thrills and spills on snow and ice, and a hugely popular Russian gold in the team figure skating on Sunday, began to win the critics around.

Monday's biggest drama was undoubtedly in the men's 500m speed skating at the Adler Arena, where, in a Dutch sweep of the medals. Michel Mulder beat Jan Smeekens by one hundredth of a second, having initially been announced as second.

 
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