SOLOKH AUL, Russia — Just 20 miles up the mountains from the Potemkin village of Sochi’s ostentatious $50-billion extravaganza lies the village of Solokh Aul, where 75 families make do without running water, gas or oil heat, or reliable electricity.
The village remembers the day in 2007 that Sochi won the Winter Olympics. People ran from their humble wooden huts and cheered. They cried. They drove the treacherous, serpentine road from their hamlet in the Caucasus foothills to the central square of Sochi, so they could join in the celebration.
And they hoped. They hoped that Sochi’s good fortune would help them get basic necessities. It never happened. All they got was a 115 percent increase in the price of a bus ticket and lights that flicker more than ever.
But they still call it “the day we won the Olympics.”
There’s a lot of national pride on display here, and that includes the people of Solokh Aul.
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