The threat of terrorism, the potential for protest, shoddy accommodation and even a lack of snow.
Just four of the problems faced by organizers of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, which came to a glittering conclusion on Sunday.
After 16 days of competition, and a record 98 gold medal events, can Russia's first ever Winter Olympics be labeled a success?
"Russia delivered all what it had promised," said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in his speech at the closing ceremony.
"What took decades in other parts of the world, was achieved here in Sochi in just seven years."
It followed comments Bach had made in his earlier press conference, when he posed the question: "Let's ask those who criticized the games if they are ready to change their opinion."
With the Olympic cauldron now extinguished, CNN takes a look at whether the country's $50 billion budget was money well spent.
When the world's journalists arrived in Sochi the readiness of the resort's accommodation was the subject of widespread coverage and some ridicule.
Broken curtain rails, orange tap water and a shortage of available rooms dominated the pre-games coverage.
But as the Olympians arrived in the Black Sea, the reviews became altogether more positive.
"After five days I have no problems," Russian speed skater Ekaterina Lobysheva told CNN. "The accommodation has been great."
The village, however, wasn't quite as advertised.
Swimming pools were empty as the athletes began filing in and the landscapes around the blocks had not been developed as intended.
"In the brochure the organizers provided to the teams, this area was meant to be a bird sanctuary, but I don't think they were able to plant the trees in time," Team Great Britain's short-track speed skater Charlotte Gilmartin told CNN.
"But apart from that everything else has been great," she said.
IOC chief Bach was in doubt of the welcome Russia had afforded to the Olympians.
"I spent four nights in different Olympic villages and had an opportunity to learn the opinions of those sportsmen who are important to me," he told reporters.
"None of the athletes uttered a word of complaint to me," he said.
And as the games continued, any accommodation worries went out of the window as athletes became increasingly interested in each other.