Document Type

Honors Paper


Petko Ivanov

Publication Date



The Russian state guided the extended narration of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, and hence the reproduction of the Russian nation in the months preceding the spectacle. The Sochi Olympics proffered a vision of Russian national identity before a global mass audience, but also to the Russian nation itself. The Olympics courted the gaze of the Russian national audience, drawing its attention to the accomplishments of individual Russians. The image of Russia constructed during the Games was of a robust, modern nation guided by a strong state under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin. Combining athletic and artistic elements, the Games worked to articulate a definition of what it is to be a member of the Russian nation. This spectacle was in turn framed by the Russian media, which is state controlled or faces intense pressure from the state. State control severely restricted and shaped dominant narratives of the events for audiences within the Russian Federation, enforcing belief in a state-designated narrative of identity and history.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.