This paper examines the effects of major infrastructure development for an international mega-event on two villages in rural Russia. The focus is on the experiences of people witnessing these changes firsthand, as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The work is grounded in field research, 19 ethnographic interviews, and government documents. Extensive interviews were conducted with Sochi locals living in two villages on opposite sides of the Mzymta River, between the Coastal Cluster of Olympic venues on the Black Sea coast and the Mountain Cluster of venues in Krasnaya Polyana. These villages have undergone radically divergent changes since Olympic development began, and contrasting the personal experiences of their inhabitants shines a light on the human element of the massive construction involved in hosting the world’s most prestigious mega-event. It is concluded that, while much of the infrastructure development is needed and welcomed, many locals nonetheless feel significantly marginalized, excluded from the discussion, and not benefiting from their region’s development.