Institutional Scholarship

Hot. Cool. Whose? The Politics Behind the 2014 Winter Olympics

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dc.contributor.author Mahoney, Katherine
dc.date.accessioned 2014-09-03T18:09:25Z
dc.date.available 2014-09-03T18:09:25Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/14670
dc.description.abstract In the late 18th century, Russian empress Catherine the Great went on a tour of the recently conquered New Russia, now modern day Ukraine and the Crimea. In order to impress his former lover and hide the potentially unpleasant reality, Prince Grigory Potemkin, ruler of the territory, supposedly built a series of very elaborate fake villages along the tour route. Various accounts claim that Potemkin dressed soldiers up as happy peasants, and imported livestock from the surrounding towns to showcase the prosperity of his villages. Although scholars debate over the existence of Potemkin's famous villages, the myth has become a part of modern thought. Nowadays, according to Merriam-Webster, the term "Potemkin village" denotes "an impressive façade or show designed to hide an undesirable fact or condition." And now in 2014, more than 200 years after the original, Russia staged a new form of the Potemkin village: the Sochi Olympics. In this essay, I will discuss the Russian government's motivations in selecting Sochi as host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics and how President Vladimir Putin's attempt to show the world his "new Russia" was very reminiscent of Potemkin's. Like Potemkin, Putin went to great lengths to hide the underbelly of the Sochi Olympics--in this case, a tragic history and a displaced minority group called the Circassians looking for the Russian government to recognize instead of obscure them behind an elaborate façade.
dc.description.sponsorship Bryn Mawr College. Department of Russian
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
dc.subject.lcsh Winter Olympic Games (22nd : 2014 : Sochi (Russia))
dc.subject.lcsh Russia (Federation) -- Politics and government -- 21st century
dc.subject.lcsh Olympics -- Political aspects
dc.title Hot. Cool. Whose? The Politics Behind the 2014 Winter Olympics
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Haverford users only


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