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Russia set to make Olympic history -- for spending, controversy

February 09, 2013|By Carol J. Williams

Russian organizers of the Games, though, insist all will be in order. Organizing Committee Chairman Dmitry Chernyshenko, a former advertising executive, assured journalists touring the construction sites this week that the ambitious building plans were on track for timely completion and that the 120,000 expected visitors and athletes will find safe and comfortable conditions.

Security could prove one of the toughest challenges, as Sochi sits at the vortex of ethnic, religious and political disputes roiling the Caucasus region.

“Heavy-handed security procedures are something the Russians do well,” Weiss said.  “But, still, you don’t want ski runs where half the people on the slopes are carrying weapons.”

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A foreign correspondent for 25 years, Carol J. Williams traveled to and reported from more than 80 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

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