I’ve been watching some of the Sochi Olympics on television. They don’t talk about any of the athletes having trouble sleeping, getting food, or getting to the events. All of the technical infrastructure seems to be working. In the lead-up to this Olympics there were all kinds of articles (example; one about homeless journalists; one comparing Putin to Hilter) about what a disaster they were going to be. What if anything is going wrong in Sochi? Is there any evidence that the overall festival is running more or less smoothly than previous Olympics? The only negative that I have seen as an American TV viewer is a surprising number of empty seats at events such as figure skating (potential explanation but the most obvious one seems to be that these Olympics are being held far from any population center, e.g., a 25-hour train ride from Moscow or two-day drive).