Russian President Medvedev Fumes Over Olympic Debacle

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called for sweeping changes in the country’s sports program following a dismal finish for the former Soviet power at the recently concluded Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Medvedev lambasted the “fat cats” in the country’s sports bureaucracy, saying officials failed to deliver the goods despite receiving a generous share of the country’s budget. Russia had its worst Winter Olympics performance ever in the Vancouver edition of the Games, finishing with a miserly three gold, five silver, and seven bronze medals, for 11th in the final standings.

Before the Vancouver Games, sports officials said that the Russians could bring home at least 30 medals and contest for the top three in the overall race. Even more glaring was the Russians’s failure to deliver in hockey and figure skating. The men’s hockey team was ousted in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Canada while the Russian figure skating squad was shut out in the gold medal category for the first time since 1964.