New article entitled 'Russia’s figure skating reputation on thin ice'. Reads:-
So, what are Russia's medal prospects for Sochi 2014?Vladimir Putin left nothing to chance when he nailed down the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. In 2007, the Russian president flew to Guatemala, along with a planeload of Russian luminaries, where International Olympic Committee officials met to choose a host city. Once there, the Russians erected an ice rink in the Central American city to provide skating champion Evgeni Plushenko a venue to showcase Russian’s legendary skating prowess. The efforts paid off. Putin got his Winter Games, Russia’s first ever.
For Putin, the Games in Sochi aren’t just a sporting competition. The 17-day spectacle at a Black Sea resort is designed to show the world that Russia has emerged from its post-Soviet gloom to become a modern economic powerhouse.
All Putin needs to complete the storybook resurrection tale are reams of Russian athletes climbing atop medal podiums next year, just as in Soviet times. That part of Putin’s dream might be harder to fulfill. It’s one thing to pour billions into constructing an Olympic city from scratch. It’s another to recreate the kind of Soviet athlete who was bred from birth for the sole purpose of bringing glory to the state. Russian athletes no longer dominate Olympic sports. The decline is most evident in figure skating, a sport where Soviet athletes once crushed Western rivals with their technical brilliance and artistic flair.