Despite the real security concerns due to the terrorism that had occurred in nearby regions prior to the Olympics, the Winter games were a resounding success.
While the weather wasn't ideal,that is obviously beyond Russia's control. We think of Russia as a cold climate but Sochi is on the Black Sea and is subtropical. Moscow,on the other hand, is very cold in the winter,as are most large Russian cities.
The weather was also an issue in Vancouver in 2010 in Canada which is also perceived as a cold climate. While Vancouver is not sub tropical, it is temperate, -the snow in the nearby mountains wasn't ideal either.
What made the Russian games a success,were the venues. There were two clusters both in Sochi where the indoor events were held, known as the coastal cluster and a mountain cluster where the outdoor events took place.
Both areas were compact making it ideal for visitors and participants to walk or bicycle to the arenas and ski hills. The mountain cluster was only a 45 minute car ride from Sochi.
While these were the most expensive games ever, this was due to the facilities not already there and thus had to built from scratch,unlike Vancouver which had most of the venues already in place,except for the Olympic Village and the Richmond Oval, which was used for speed-skating.
There were reports of corruption in the construction of these facilities and certainly that was also a big factor in the huge cost overruns of these games.
The Sochi venues were said to be first class, the Russian people very hospitable and the village housing while spartan, was said to be clean and functional.
What was not to like?