By David Owen

Sochi 2014 made a profit of $261 million, according to early results ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe Organising Committee of this year's Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi has announced an operating profit of nine billion roubles (£153 million/$261 million/€192 million), according to preliminary estimates.

A further update will be provided once the committee has completed its mandate; the surplus will be invested in the development of Russian sport.

The figure that is likely to remain stuck in the public consciousness regarding Sochi 2014, at least in the West, however, is the $51 billion (£31 billion/€37 billion) that has been estimated as the total investment in what was a mammoth project, when everything is taken into consideration.

In stark contrast to the current emphasis on economy among those associated with sporting mega-events, Russia's ability to splash the cash, underlining its retrieved status as a global power, was part of the point of the country's first Winter Games.

Most venues in Sochi were built from scratch, while there was also large-scale spending in infrastructural improvements aimed at furthering the region's long-term development.

Sochi 2014 were seen as a personal success for Russian President Vladimir Putin ©AFP/Getty ImagesSochi 2014 were seen as a personal success for Russian President Vladimir Putin
©AFP/Getty Images

"The Games in Sochi will continue to set records, even after their completion," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and chief executive of Sochi 2014. 

"Financial indicators show that these were the most successful Games compared to previous editions, and all earnings will be directed to the development of sport in Russia."

The next task for the Sochi officials will be the official debrief on the results of an event generally seen as a great success, notwithstanding the far from universal popularity of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has frequently demonstrated his preparedness to defend what he sees as Russian interests in a particularly uncompromising manner, in international circles.

The debrief is due be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic host-city, between June 25 and July 5.