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Sochi set to welcome the world amid storm clouds
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Seven years ago, Vladimir Putin traveled all the way to Guatemala to woo Olympic leaders with his grandiose vision: hosting the Winter Games in Russia's little-known Black Sea summer resort of Sochi. Putin's personal pitch — delivered partly in English and French — did the trick as Sochibeat out bids from South Korea and Austria for the right to stage the 2014 Games on the so-called "Russian Riviera." Putin's political influence and Russia's might bowled over the International Olympic Committee on that day.