Breakfast of champions

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 20:  Russian President Dm...

Dima and Mutko.

In case you’re sick of the spy scandal, here’s a blast from the past: the Russian collapse at the Vancouver Olympics.

Remember that? Well, in case you forgot Russia’s inability to live up to its Olympic dreams (successfully done by the Russian paralympians a couple weeks later), the Russian Treasury released its audit of the Russian national team’s performance on Friday. And boy is it stunning.

Some highlights:

  • Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko spent $1400 a night on his hotel room, for 20 nights (regulations cap hotels at $130)
  • Mutko had a fantastical 97 breakfasts during his 20 day stay
  • Tickets to Russian supporters were sold at 11 times their face value
  • Awarding equipment contracts to bogus firms that were based right inside the Sports Ministry. These firms jacked up their “prices” by as much as 66%
  • Shelling out money for events that had no time, place, or description
  • Paying for extra — and unnecessary — people to come to Vancouver with the Russian delegation (people like skater Evgeny Pluschenko’s wife) but not paying for other people, like two coaches on the bobsledding team
  • And my favorite: Many athletes were trained by high school sports coaches

While people are calling for Mutko’s head, last night’s meeting of the Federation Council (the upper house of the Russian Parliament) to discuss the audit’s findings didn’t even result in a wrist slap. In fact, Mutko’s name wasn’t even mentioned.


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7 Responses to Breakfast of champions

  1. yalensis says:

    It is outrageous that they didn’t fire Mutko. That guy is a corrupt hack and really needs to go! Julia, thanks for the nice mention of the Russian paralympian team. It wasn’t that long ago that disabled athletes were shunned in Russia. It’s nice that they are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

    • kovane says:

      yalensis, If Kremlin start to fire all corrupt hacks the White house will become a very desolate place 🙂 (small note for non-Russian readers: no, I’m not mad, the White house is where Russian government sit)

      • zed244 says:

        kovane – “the White house is where the Russian government sits” – is a geopoliticaly-deep black humour.

        (don’t worry, everyone understands what you meant)

      • yalensis says:

        True, but this might be a good place to start. Especially in view of the Sochi Olympics coming up. Realistically Russia won’t be able to rebuild its sports program in time to wow the world at Sochi; but at least they can aspire to put on a good clean show and not have embarrassing things happen!
        (By the way, how do you add those smiley faces to your comment? I don’t know how to do that.)

      • kovane says:


        By old, time tested trick: printing “:” and “)” together.

  2. grafomanka says:

    I hope not every Russian gov department looks like this (but it’s only a fools hope)

  3. johnhawk says:

    Hey Julia,

    ..had a good laugh when you wrote about Moscow’s ‘tantric energy’! As a friend of mine who lived in Moscow for several years told me, quite non-chalantly, Moscow has the ‘best whores in the world’. Also, since I know quite a lot about true Tantrism, comparing gross vibratory 1st and 2nd chakra energies as ‘tantric’ is either 1) being polite; or, 2) being ignorant. And I sense from your writings, you are not ignorant.

    John Hawk
    Santa Fe, NM

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