As the Sochi Olympics come to a close, Brett Forrest examines whether the event lived up to its billing for Russia now, and beyond.
The $50 billion-plus that Russia spent preparing for these Games were assigned for a single outcome: a hockey gold medal. It would be symbolic of the Olympics' larger success.
For Russians, the Olympics have not been a thrill -- they're from here. It may explain why the country's mood, especially in Sochi, has been generally subdued so far.
In ESPN The Magazine, Brett Forrest writes that Russian president Vladimir Putin, the defiant strongman of a determined nation, is pulling out all the stops to dominate the West with his Olympic show.
Bloodied but unbowed, Russia's Kontinental Hockey League refuses to let the plane crash that killed 36 members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team last month derail their mission.