The Cold War may have been studiously avoided in an intelligent opening ceremony, but the simmering tension between the US and Russia is at the heart of a tug of war over how these Games are presented to the world. American networks in particular have dwelled on tales of unfinished media hotels and ramped-up security concerns.
I would imagine the US media doesn’t like the surveillance shoe being on the other foot more than the surveillance itself. I’m not sure I would want to shower with Putin either.
By the same token, the Russian organisers have been needlessly defensive and slow to acknowledge genuine, and often comical, problems with accommodation and, more seriously, prickly when it comes to criticism of their human rights record and anti-gay laws. Putin’s hopes for a flawless Games that would showcase his vision of Russian might to the world is already fraying at the edges.
I think Russia could do better, but I also think America could too. I don’t recall any of this happening at previous Olympics either, so apparently gay rights have fallen off the moon onto Russia. Even our gays are exceptional I suppose.
All in all. rude guests aside, and from where I sit, job well done.