In the past, Olympic logos have featured elements of the host country, pointing to the visual history of a specific culture. In 2004, the logo for the Athens Games included a traditional Greek laurel wreath. In 2008, Beijing's logo alluded to a Chinese seal. This year, however, the logo for the Sochi Olympics is as basic as possible.
Guo Chunning, the man who designed the Beijing Games logo, claims that the 2014 design is the first logo besides London 2012 and Mexico City 1968 to not include a drawn element. The Sochi Organizing Committee, who makes the ultimate decision on the logo design, even took their brand one step further, stripping it down to a basic blue font. Perhaps they we're trying to avoid the fate of the London logo, who everyone though looked like Lisa Simpson giving Bart a BJ.
Jonathan Kolach of The New Yorker explains that the Sochi design started much more traditionally, blending visual themes from Russian history. After passing multiple reviews, however, it was reduced to its current state. He still attempts to draw some (far-fetched?) meaning from the simple letters: "Some will interpret the type for 'Sochi' and '2014' as mirroring each other, portraying Russia as a country of contrasts—seashore and mountain slope, snow and sand. Others might see the mirroring as symbolic of Sochi’s location on the Black Sea."
Not only is this a sparse logo, but this is also a logo of the future, including ".ru" to signify the host country through its Web domain. Looking at futurism in architecture and design from the turn of the century to today, it makes sense then that Russia would go with something so sparse, like the modernists reverting to essential forms. Sleek, simple, and Internet-focused, this is the perfect logo for the Apple generation.