Were the Sochi Olympics a PR disaster?

The 2014 Winter Games came to a close Sunday night after a rather bumpy road, PR-wise. But were they really that much worse than previous Olympiads?

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The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are one for the record books, at least in terms of the endless string of memorable PR moments.

Even before the four Olympic rings were unveiled (remember that the fifth ring malfunctioned during the opening ceremonies), there were some PR doozies.

In the weeks leading up to the Games, there was a steady stream of reports about the massive cost overruns—we’re talking billions of dollars—alleged corruption, and questions about whether facilities would be ready in time, not to mention a veil of anti-gay sentiment.

And let’s not forget the packs of dogs wandering the Olympic Village.

After the Olympic flame was lit, more PR wonderment was on deck. We had the latest, greatest American speed skating suits that may not have been very speedy (or an excuse for those wearing them), NBC’s cringe-worthy reporting, half-finished hotel rooms, funky drinking water, athlete finger-pointing, and weather more suitable for a Michigan spring.

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