SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

February 8, 2014

Russia kicks off Sochi Games with hope and hubris

(Continued)

And the poorly paid migrant workers who helped build up the Sochi site from scratch, the disregard for local residents, the environmental abuse during construction, the pressure on activists, and the huge amounts of Sochi construction money that disappeared to corruption.

Some world leaders purposely stayed away, but U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and dozens of others were in Sochi for the ceremony. He didn’t mention the very real anger over a Russian law banning gay “propaganda” aimed at minors that is being used to discriminate against gay people.

But IOC President Thomas Bach won cheers for addressing it yesterday, telling the crowd it’s possible to hold Olympics “with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason.”

For all the criticism, there was no shortage of pride at the ceremony in what Russia has achieved with these games. The head of the Sochi organizing committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, captured the mood of many Russians present when he said, “We’re now at the heart of that dream that became reality.”

“The games in Sochi are our chance to show the whole world the best of what Russia is proud of,” he said. “Our hospitality, our achievements, our Russia!”

The ceremony presented Putin’s version of today’s Russia: a country with a rich and complex history emerging confidently from a rocky two decades and now capable of putting on a major international sports event.

Putin himself was front and center, declaring the games open from his box high above the stadium floor. Earlier, he looked down as the real stars of the games — those athletes, dressed in winter wear of so many national colors to ward off the evening chill and a light dusting of man-made snow — walked onto a satellite image of the earth projected on the floor, the map shifting so the athletes appeared to emerge from their own country.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Police Peabody Friday A gray Mongoose bike valued at $125 was reported missing from Glenway Avenue, as logged at 5:06 p.m. Wade R. Durkee, 47, 261 Newbury St., Peabody, was arrested, as logged at 6:12 p.m., on Crane Brook Way on a charge of receiving stolen

    July 28, 2014

  • Arthur v. Arthur

    July 27, 2014

  • Police: Excessive speed may have been factor in Route 1 crash in Peabody

    Saturday morning at approximately 6 a.m., troopers from the Massachusetts State Police Danvers Barracks responded to a three vehicle crash on Route 1 north in the vicinity of Route 114 in Peabody.

    July 26, 2014

  • Driscoll Gordon College flap nets local LGBT group $12K

    SALEM -- The conservative uproar over Mayor Kim Driscoll's decision to terminate Gordon College's contract to operate Old Town Hall has turned into a cash cow for a local group supporting gay and lesbian youths.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • 140725_SN_DLE_HOUSE4 Middleton builder rescues First Period house in Danvers from demolition

    DANVERS -- Built before 1730, the First Period Benjamin Holten home at 52 Centre St. was a tear down that did not get torn down, the builder who preserved and restored the house said. "They had holes in the roof this big," said builder Michael Panzer

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos