Instead, the focus has been on politics, human rights, and the ever-present threat of terrorism.
What will LGBT activists -- and athletes -- do at the Games? How will the Russian authorities respond? Will Chechen militant Doku Umarov pull off a terrorist attack as he has pledged to do? And how will the Sochi Olympics, which have been shrouded in controversy almost from the outset, make Russia look to the world?
Such questions are overshadowing ones about who will take home the most Olympic gold.
In the latest "Power Vertical Podcast," we discuss the upcoming Sochi Olympics and what they might portend politically. Joining me were co-hosts Kirill Kobrin, editor of the Moscow-based history and sociology magazine "Neprikosnovenny zapas," and Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows."
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.