Can These Games Be Saved?

Feb 6 2014, 4:31pm CST | by

Can These Games Be Saved?

Throughout the week, reporters at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia have taken to Twitter to showcase their less-than-cozy hotel accommodations with great hilarity.

From broken curtains and pedestrian traps to tap water that looks like it was siphoned from a Tough Mudder event, Sochi hasn’t exactly put its best foot forward in the days leading up to the opening ceremonies. Even hotel bathrooms have made headlines for their strange design choices and unusual conditions of use.

Sochi is suffering from a serious reputation crisis before the Games have even begun. But why should Russia care about a handful of bizarre photos on Twitter, as long as it can deliver a seamless Winter Games?

It all comes down to image.

In the court of public opinion, Sochi has gotten a spanking from all corners. The Games were already clouded by issues such as corruption and gross overspending (to the tune of $50 billion), which raised eyebrows and soured the public’s initial impression. The slew of recent Twitter photos only reinforces the belief that Sochi isn’t ready to host the Winter Olympic Games. If multi-billion dollar hotel projects were handed out to Putin cronies with virtually no experience in construction, what would it look like? Come to think of it, it would probably look a lot like this. What happens now if something actually goes awry during the Games themselves?

You’re probably already seeing the pattern emerge: negative publicity has a tendency to snowball. Before the Games, it was allegations of corruption.  We’re at the pre-game show and it’s filthy drinking water and toilets that can’t accommodate toilet paper.  It’s a slopestyle course that needed massive modification after one athlete broke his collarbone and other athletes said, uhhhh. It’ll now take the equivalent of landing multiple triple lutzes for viewers to think of this as a well-organized, world-class event. That’s with good reason: what’s happening just continues to legitimize the arguments of critics and detractors. Nothing else can go wrong.

What’s the takeaway from the early struggles of the Sochi Winter Games? When it comes to public perception, first impressions are everything. They shape the way how people see you, your business, your achievements, your failures, etc. First impressions can spark a serious buzz based on just a few images shared socially, or it can turn a flurry of grumblings into an avalanche of criticism. They set the tone for a narrative that can be very difficult to change mid-course.

How have you seen first impressions either help or hurt public perception?  Can these Games be saved?

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

New crew aboard Russian spaceship reach ISS
Washington, Nov 24 (IANS) Three new crew members from the US, Russia and Italy arrived Monday at the International Space Station (ISS) on board a Russian spaceship.
 
 
First Italian female astronaut ready for spaceflight
Rome, Nov 24 (IANS) History will be made Monday with the first ever Italian female astronaut set to go into space for a mission on board the International Space Station (ISS).
 
 
Mummy wearing jewellery unearthed in Egypt
London, Nov 23 (IANS) Spanish archaeologists have discovered about 4,000 years old female mummy wearing rare jewellery in Egypt.
 
 
Exercise and fasting could boost brain's functions
Washington, Nov 23 (IANS) Exercise along with occasional fasting is good for boosting the brain's neurons, shows a new research.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

270 Syrian refugees saved off coast of Cyprus
Nicosia, Nov 24 (IANS) A boat carrying 270 Syrian refugees trying to reach Europe was towed to the Turkish controlled northern coast of Cyprus after drifting for several hours. The rescue operation took place...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
It?s direction over acting for Jolie
Los Angeles, Nov 24 (IANS) Actress Angelina Jolie says she is now looking to focus on her directing career. "I've never been comfortable as an actor -- I've never loved being in front of the camera. I didn't ever...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Al Qaeda-linked fighters target two Shia towns in Syria
Damascus, Nov 24 (IANS) The Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and like-minded groups attacked two pro-government and predominantly Shia towns, in Syria's Aleppo province. The attack on the towns of Nubul and Zahra Sunday...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Pattinson gets naughty with FKA Twigs in public
Los Angeles, Nov 24 (IANS) Actor Robert Pattinson seemed to be in a playful mood when he grabbed his girlfriend FKA Twigs's derriere while strolling here recently. The duo had stepped out together Friday afternoon for...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Focus shifts to 'political agreement' over Iranian nuclear issue
Tehran, Nov 24 (IANS) Iran and six world powers would now look to negotiate a "political agreement" as a comprehensive deal by the Nov 24 deadline would be "impossible", Iranian officials said. "We haven't been...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Political leader shot dead in Pakistan
Karachi, Nov 24 (IANS) A leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), Ziauddin was gunned down Sunday by unknown assailants in Orangi Town in the Pakistani city of Karachi, media reported. According to police, the leader...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Israeli cabinet pushes to make country 'Jewish state' by law
Jerusalem, Nov 24 (IANS) The Israeli cabinet approved a bill Sunday, which enshrines in law that Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people and that this right is unique to them. Fifteen ministers voted in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
When Lily Allen's sex life 'lacked magic'
Los Angeles, Nov 24 (IANS) Singer Lily Allen, who says she didn't enjoy a great sex life until she was in her mid-20s, believes sex needs to be reprented as an "emotive experience" in popular media. She says the media...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Bangladesh beats Zimbabwe in second ODI
Dhaka, Nov 24 (IANS) Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 68 runs in the second one day international (ODI) at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium in Chittagong Sunday, to go 2-0 up in the five-match cricket series. Batting...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Stand up for your rights, Imran Khan tells Pakistanis
Islamabad, Nov 24 (IANS) Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said Sunday that the people of Pakistan must stand up for their rights, when the party holds a rally Nov 30 in Islamabad. Addressing a public...
Read more on Politics Balla