The 2014 Sochi Olympics are on track to be the costliest ever -- with the Russian government shelling out an estimated $50 billion on the Winter Games and related infrastructure. The plan was to spend $12 billion.
Politicians have long justified the enormous piles of money required to put on the Olympic Games by arguing that ticket sales, construction jobs and increased tourism outweigh the costs.
But most independent economists say the Olympics price tag is more complicated than that -- and certainly not as rosy as politicians portray.
Here are a few cities that won the Games but paid a financial price.
The threat of protests at next year's Winter Olympics in Russia against a controversial anti-gay law has left sponsors jittery about potential damage to their business.