At the Winter Olympics, the luge ramp and the snowboarding course aren't the only places you can get a thrill ride or defy gravity. There's also the new Sochi amusement park that's been dubbed "Putin World" after Russian president Vladimir Putin. Its real name is Sochi Park, but Putin World sounds more like a place Russian Clark Griswold would visit, don't you think?
There's only one problem: Like many things in Sochi, Putin World is not finished. It's just sitting there, taunting people with its roller coaster track. Don't the Russians know that there are 20-year-old snowboarders who would ride that roller coaster all night long if you let them?
The entire complex, which cost $370 million to build, includes a hotel, shopping and displays about Russia's history, according to a recent report from Today. That report also tells us about the "mysterious" delays with the amusement park:
Development has been marred by mysterious distractions, said Today's Matt Lauer, who recounted a story circulating in the area that the oversized steel bolts crucial to attaching the roller coaster to the concrete slabs in the ground somehow got “misplaced.” Russian officials later apparently “found” the bolts after tracking them down.
The park’s hotel, which lights up at night, is reportedly fully occupied but there's no official word about who the tenants are. Word on the street, however, has it that members of the Dutch and Sri Lankan royal families are staying there.
The roller coaster, of course, is the most eye-catching party of Putin World. And Olympians — such as 23-year-old American speed skater Jonathan Kuck — are eager to try it out.
Advice to the Olympic overlords of Sochi, get that amusement park done before all these young athletes are forced to find their thrills somewhere else.
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- amusement park
- roller coaster